Free menstrual products available at Shidler College

Free menstrual products are now available in all Shidler College of Business washrooms thanks to a new partnership between Delta Sigma Pi: Ro Chi at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa’s Shidler college and local non-profit organization May Movement Hawaii.

person smiling with a box
Susan Iverson is Vice President of Community Service for Delta Sigma Pi:Ro Chi.

Delta Sigma Pi is an international professional business fraternity with four main pillars: professionalism, service, scholarship and fellowship. The group’s vice president of community service, Susan Iverson, said this project aligns specifically with its community service and service-learning goals.

“My goal was to collaborate not only with national nonprofits, but also to focus on local nonprofits with initiatives focused on Native Hawaiian issues, whether land, culture or people,” said Iverson, a senior human resources specialist. and accountant. “Another focal point of this pillar within our chapter is service learning. We have often found many people volunteering just for credit and walking away aimlessly. Therefore, by educating members about organizing for they volunteer and how they are making a difference, member participation and motivation has increased.

All menstrual products were donated by May Movement Hawaiiwho “believes it is our kuleana, or responsibility, that all people of menstruating age have the right to access sanitary products, safe and hygienic places to use them, and the right to manage their bodies without shame or stigma.”

According to data provided by May Movement Hawaii on the period of poverty in Hawaii, 42% of recipients identify as native Hawaiians and 16% identify as other Pacific Islander; half of respondents missed school or work because of their period; and 65% of beneficiaries receive government assistance – programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children that do not make toilet paper and products accessible. menstrual.

paper towel box and dispenser on a wall
All products were donated by May Movement Hawaii.

Iverson said the initiative began in early October and the reception has been overwhelmingly positive. She is in charge of restocking the products and says they need to be replenished weekly. Iverson said she has also received many positive comments on social media.

Governor David Ige signed Senate Bill 2821 earlier this year which requires the Department of Education to provide free menstrual products in all public and charter schools. Iverson is gathering data and commentary on the Shidler Initiative in hopes of spurring lawmakers to extend the law to higher education institutions.

“I am lucky to have this connection not only with May Movement Hawaii but the people who also support him on campus as we try to make an impact on campus and in Hawaii“Iverson said.

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