Letter to the Editor

Written by Myah Duncan, Communications Masters Student

Dear Editor, 


  After spending six years at the University of Central Missouri, I have grown a special love for the university and campus as a whole. But, as the saying has it, you should leave a place better than you found it. This is an attempt to make UCM a better place — by advocating the university provide free menstruation products. 

  At least once a month, over 50% of UCM students likely experience menstruation. This fact of life has proven to add immense stress upon the already overworked college student. Although inevitable, gaining access to menstruation products can be extremely difficult. This issue is caused by many factors, including the social stigmas about periods, which bring on a layer of embarrassment to this completely natural event and the price of the products. 

  According to The State of the Period 2021 survey, 26% of students have struggled to afford feminine hygiene products, and 51% responded saying they have worn a product for longer than recommended. Most shocking, 16% shared they chose to purchase hygiene products over food or clothes. These numbers may not come directly from our campus, but this should open our eyes to the issues our own menstruating students can face. 

  Nationwide, this issue has been labeled as the Period Poverty Movement. The statistics stated before have motivated campuses and state legislatures to make a change. The state of California now requires free menstruation products in the bathrooms of all K-12 schools and state university campuses. Many universities, including Auburn University and Emory University, have taken this movement seriously by placing free product dispensers in all bathrooms.

  As a graduate student, I went through a time when I did not have the funds to purchase a box of tampons from the store. I reached out to our health center and was devastated to find out I could not receive just one tampon in order to make it through the work day, but instead I would have to spend $5.99 to get a box of 18. That may seem like a good deal, but let’s not forget college students typically live on a tight budget. As part of that group, I believe I am not the only student at UCM who has been faced with a similar situation. 

  As I exit UCM, I have one request from the university that has taken such good care of me as I have become an intelligent young adult — join the Period Poverty Movement. It’s our turn. 




Myah Duncan,  Communications Masters Student