Irina Barneda/Staff Writer
Period poverty is coming to an end on campus, thanks to the Women’s Center at FIU.
The Women’s Center will be giving out menstrual hygiene products for free throughout the Spring 2020 semester up until June 1 at 1 p.m.
Products vary based on donations but include pads, tampons, liners and lube. The center also does giveaways for reusable pads and menstrual cups.
“We give away reusable products because we want people to have products they can use over and over in a safe way,” said program assistant Janelle Acevevo.
By offering these products free of charge, students are able to save money.
“A lot of people don’t know we exist, much less what we do. So students go to Recharge and Pharm Box where they pay to get menstrual products,” she said. “We believe you shouldn’t get charged for something you can’t control. Our goal is to let people know the resources are there.”
Hygiene distribution isn’t new to FIU.
“Our office has always distributed pads and other hygiene products,” said Acevevo. “The only difference now is we announced the program on Panther Connect so more students can know about it and we can raise awareness.”
Since being on Panther Connect, the Women’s Center has seen a difference in the amount of walk-ins.
“It has given us another outlet to reach students,” said Acevevo.
The product distributions are made possible through donations.
“We are very donation-based at the moment, but it would be nice to have some of the products financed because if we can’t fund these products, we can’t supply them. So we are working on that,” said Acevevo.
Along with students, Publix also donated hygiene products.
“My role is to get sponsorships and donations for menstrual products,” she said. “I worked with Publix to get $100 worth of hygiene products, which helped out a lot.”
The Women’s Center also puts on educative and preventative workshops.
“We held a love-your-body event where we had a day that focused on period awareness, and we taught people how to reduce cramps in a non-expensive way and how to take care of your period,” said Acevevo. “We want to implement more workshops like this, and are hoping to collaborate with Period Miami in the future.”
Period Miami is a non-profit organization that celebrates menstrual hygiene through advocacy, education and service.
Anyone is welcome to stop by the center and pick up products.
“Walk-ins are available; the only thing is that we document how many people come in so we can keep track of how many products we need to supply,” said Acevevo.
In a new initiative, the Women’s Center is working with the Student Government Association to place menstrual products inside campus bathrooms.
The Women’s Center is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is located in the Graham Center 212 at the Modesto Maidique Campus, and in the Wolfe University Center 353 at the Biscayne Bay Campus.