A student-led movement dedicated to providing free menstrual products to those in need has made its way to Dalhousie thanks to the efforts of students Lucy MacLeod and Claire Sethuram.
PERIOD Dalhousie launched last year and recently teamed up with the Dalhousie Student Union (DSU) to launch a campaign to expand its capacity to help.
“We are one of the first Canadian chapters, and we have expanded quite a bit since we started,” says Claire, a second-year Biology student.
Originally started by a Harvard student who developed an appreciation for the gap in availability and affordability of menstrual products for homeless women, PERIOD soon spread across the U.S. and now to Canada.
Growing the group's impact
The Dal chapter relies on volunteers to help with “packing parties”, where products are packaged to be distributed to individuals-held every second month, using social media and events like the DSU’s Winter Volunteer & Society Expo last week to recruit new supporters.
Some of the challenges that the society faces are a lack of office space and low visibility, which affects their ability to store products as well as meet the needs of all those who need their help.
The group’s bigger goal is to expand to serve the community at large by donating to shelters and individuals living in low-income housing.
“Our plan for the future is to serve many more people and shelters that need our help,” says Lucy, a recent honours Biology graduate. “We especially hope to attract volunteers with knowledge in applying for grants so that we can have a more sustainable source of funding for our operations.”
PERIOD was one of more than a 100 student groups to attend the DSU’s Winter Volunteer & Society Expo last week. The expo is an opportunity that allows student societies and volunteer organizations around Halifax to demonstrate the good work that they do in the community and to encourage student involvement in community service and extra curricular activities.
Other groups that took advantage of this term’s expo included the Loaded Ladle and the DSU Sustainability Office (DSUSO).
The Loaded Ladle provides free vegetarian meals to Dalhousie students and staff in the Student Union Building (SUB) every Tuesday-Friday from 1:00 pm -1:40 pm. They also offer events and activities that examine barriers to food sovereignty, food security and justice.
The DSUSO conducts research and initiates campus wide initiatives that aim to encourage environmental stewardship. Both the Loaded Ladle and DSUSO are student-levied societies.
Students can visit the Bissett Student Success Centre on the fourth floor of the SUB for more information on how to get involved on and off campus.
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