MICDS PERIOD Chapter Advocates for Free Menstrual Products

The MICDS chapter of PERIOD, a nonprofit advocating for menstrual equity and led by Emma Scally ’22, recently received approval for their proposal to make pads and tampons more accessible to individuals on campus who need them. PERIOD.org’s mission states, “Period products are essential, and they should be easily accessible to menstruators.” Traditionally available in a restroom vending machine for 50 cents or at the nurse’s office for free, neither option was very convenient in an emergent situation. Thanks to the MICDS PERIOD chapter, menstrual products for members of the student body and faculty and staff are now freely available in any women’s restroom with pad/tampon machines. Now individuals can open the machines without paying and receive their period products!

Emma shared more about the journey to this achievement:

“I first founded the MICDS chapter of PERIOD, a menstrual equity nonprofit, last year during spring break, when the pandemic had just started. Menstrual equity was something that I was always very passionate about, but before the pandemic, I didn’t feel like I had the time to pursue it. Over the summer, I worked with other chapter leaders across the state, and we drafted a petition to end the tampon tax in Missouri. And while we were trying to move forward with legislation, I realized that I would also like to push for free products in my school.

I was committed to making a positive change, as were all the wonderful members of our PERIOD chapter. With the help of our faculty sponsor, Dr. Tanya Roth, and our chapter members Paige Naughton ’22 (Head of Communications), Aishani Chakraborty ’22, Amelia Markwell ’22 (Treasurer), Shelly Bhagat ’22, Siri Battula ’22, and Selina Balci ’22, we set out to work on our proposal. We wrote a letter to school administrators requesting that they make the products free in at least one bathroom in every Upper School building. I soon received a response from Ms. Beth Miller, MICDS’ Chief Financial Officer. MICDS exceeded my expectations for this project, and our chapter is so grateful. They made products free in every bathroom where there was a machine, even in the Middle School! Our chapter Head of Communications, Paige Naughton, then drafted the official announcement we sent out to the School right before spring break.

I am so grateful to everyone who helped make this happen. Menstrual equity is an important yet often overlooked issue due to the stigma, so I am glad we are bringing this issue into the spotlight. MICDS truly encourages students like me to live a life of purpose and service. And now, we are one of the schools that are helping to lead the menstrual movement!”

Thank you, Emma and the MICDS PERIOD chapter members, for bringing this critical issue to light and working to change the stigma around menstruation and menstrual products!