“There’s been a lot of conversation about why pads and tampons are a necessity, not a luxury, but not a lot of action. We wanted to take it into our own hands,” Nguyen explains in the email, observing that “low-income students struggle with having the necessary funding for food, let alone tampons.”
By putting menstrual products in women’s, men’s, and gender-inclusive bathrooms, Nguyen aims to “set a tone of trans-inclusivity, and not forget that they’re an important part of the population,” but is under no illusions that the effort will be universally popular.Brown University today, your neighborhood junior high tomorrow.
“I’d be naïve to say there won’t be push back,” he preemptively concedes. “I’ve had questions about why we’re implementing this in male bathrooms as well. It’s an initial confusion, but people generally understand when we explain it.”
Nguyen told Newsweek that menstrual products will be available in approximately 30 to 40 bathrooms across campus for the 2016–2017 school year, financed exclusively by the undergraduate finance board, rather than general university funds.