Menstrual Equity at UofL History
Tampon Task Force
This initiative, spearheaded by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) at UofL and the UofL Women's Center, started in 2016 when students approached the Women's Center with concerns about the lack of access to personal hygiene products on campus. Students shared stories of needing to either beg strangers for tampons in the case of an emergency or leave class and travel off campus for supplies. Neither of these scenarios is pleasant. AAUW at UofL created a Tampon Task Force and held a personal hygiene product drive on campus during the Spring 2017 semester. With the generous support of students, faculty, and staff, they were able to collect more than 700 products during that campaign. The Women's Center facilitated the distribution of Tampon Task Force baskets to numerous locations on campus. To address the need on an institutional level, the Women's Center reached out to the Student Government Association to use their access and resources to expand this initiative.
Beginning in Spring 2017, the Student Government Association has worked diligently to see the creation and implementation of free access to personal hygiene products. In order to best accommodate all students, each Student Council was able to provide input into the selection of bathrooms within their respective colleges and schools. According to FreetheTampons.org, approximately 86% of American women report that they have started their period unexpectedly in public without the supplies they need. This number is striking, and it does not account for intersex, non-binary and transgender students who may also be affected by menstruation. The University of Louisville mission statement describes its commitment to pursuing inclusiveness in its work to educate and serve. Accessibility to menstrual hygiene products is not a luxury; rather, it is essential to student success and crucial to serving a diverse campus community. This was sponsored by the Women's Center, the Office of the Chief Operating Officer, and Student Government Association (SGA) the Tampon Task Force became a campus-wide initiative.
American Association University Women at UofL
- The American Association of University Women at UofL worked with Rep. Attica Scott to sponsor their bill, KY House Bill 85, where KY colleges would be required to provide free menstrual hygiene products on campus that receive governmental funding. (2018-2019)
Former President, Finn DePriest, won the Social Justice and Inclusion Award for their work on the Tampon Task Force from UofL Student Involvement Office (March 2019)
- Won the United Nations Association - Kentucky Division Genny Scheldorf Outstanding Community Service Award (December 2018)
Menstrual Freedom Coalition
In 2023, to continue addressing menstrual inequities on campus, the Menstrual Freedom Coalition was created to continue the Tampon Task Force mission but to utilize a collaborative approach in addition with the community. Menstrual inequities don't stop beyond the boundaries of the campus.