By Tina Shaygan, November 5 2017 —
Over a thousand period products have been handed out to University of Calgary students since the Students’ Union made them available for free in early September, according to SU vice-president student life Hilary Jahelka. Free period products are available for students at the MacHall Info Centre, the SU main office and the Q Centre.
During last week’s Students’ Legislative Council meeting, Jahelka reported on purchasing more period products for this initiative. According to her, the program has received positive feedback from students.
“Everyone is really excited to see this happening. People are excited that we’re using the term period products because it’s not only women who use period products,” Jahelka said. “They like that is is accessible and we’ve heard it in person. It’s exciting to see that people are utilizing it.”
Jahelka used her Special Projects funding to account for $350 of the pilot program’s funding. Each year, SU executives receive a certain amount of money to work on their campaign promises. The remainder of the funding came from the “Programs” line in the SU’s Student Government budget. Jahelka said $3,000 — the same amount allocated for the free condom program — has been set aside for this initiative.
“My guess is we wouldn’t use the full amount this year but I would recommend keeping it the same next year because hopefully, it will grow and people will know more about it since it is just the pilot year,” Jahelka said.
Jahelka added that the cost for this initiative has been added to the SU Programs budget instead of her Special Projects funding in order to ensure its continuity.
“Special projects can change, but programs are pretty much set unless the whole executive team decides to stop it,” Jahelka said.
Jahelka said that other universities, particularly smaller students’ unions, have been in contact with her to implement similar programs.
“It is definitely catching on,” Jahelka said. “Hopefully, we will see a lot more Students’ Unions doing it.”