Downtown Library

The downtown library on the campus of West Virginia University.

In partnership with Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, the Morgantown Menstrual Equity Coalition and the Women’s Resource Center, more locations on campus are soon likely to offer free menstrual products to students.

According to Emily Womeldorff, constituency engagement specialist at Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, 'take some, leave some' bins of menstrual products have just been set up in the WVU Commuter Lounges.

"Another location likely to have these products available soon includes the [College of Business and Economics] building, thanks to the WVU Women in Business Club," said Sally Brown, the exhibits and program coordinator in the office of the dean of WVU Libraries.

These products are currently free through the “Take What You Need, Leave What You Can” program in the WVU libraries and have been available for years there.

The Women’s Resource Center and the LQBTQ+ Center offer free menstrual products as well, with the LGBTQ+ center also providing free condoms for students who need them.

Bri DeLarge, a senior psychology student, said that although she thought the school might have offered free menstrual products, she wasn’t entirely sure of it.

“I think that’s the coolest thing because I’ve definitely been in a pinch before and had to ask a girl in the stall or something,” DeLarge said.

Callie Hatfield, a junior English and women and gender studies student, has taken advantage of the free products offered in the library. She received a reusable menstrual cup for free, when they usually cost anywhere from $25 to $40. 

"Well, they're doing something, which is always great, but I don't think they're doing enough. I think this is only the start of something that can be much more beneficial for women on campus," Hatfield said.

On March 8, the WRC has an event scheduled, the “Campus Cup 2021,” in which students can register on its website and receive a free menstrual cup, which is a cost effective menstrual product for those who may need it.

In a study published by BMC Women’s Health, one in five first-generation college students said that they have experienced period poverty within the last year, which is a lack of access to menstrual products, while one in ten experienced it within the last month or monthly.

The study also suggested that those who experienced period poverty had a higher chance of suffering from depression.

WVU Libraries has also published a libguide on the topic of period inequity and what the school is doing through its partnerships with Planned Parenthood South Atlantic and the Morgantown Menstrual Equity Coalition to ensure the students have these resources.

Correction: A person quoted in this article was listed with an incorrect title. The error has been corrected."