To acquire wisdom, one must observe

Maintain a steady supply of menstrual products at C-store

Brenda was going about her Saturday when she had a surprise visit from Mother Nature. She had started her period, but she had run out of feminine care products. She decided to buy tampons from the C-store. Unfortunately, the only menstrual products available were super tampons. Brenda tried to use the super tampons, but found them painful. She ended up borrowing tampons from a well-supplied friend in order to spare herself an incredibly painful period.

Cecile cannot use tampons for health reasons. This means that she frequently has to walk to Walgreens to purchase maxi pads, since the C-store almost never has any in stock. “It can be very frustrating to have to go off campus to buy pads,” claims Cecile, “especially since so many people prefer them.” In general, the supply of menstrual products in the C-store is incredibly lacking. The C-store has a very limited variety of pads and tampons, and is sometimes completely out of menstrual products.

The lack of menstrual products is especially shocking at Brandeis, since 50-60 percent of Brandeis undergraduate students have periods. An important function of suburban universities is to provide their students with living essentials in the absence of stores within easy walking distance. These essentials include things like food, some basic over-the-counter medications and hygiene necessities. Especially at Brandeis, where most students living on campus don’t have cars, it is extremely important that the school sell living essentials. The C-store, the shop on which most Brandeis students depend, has an enormous supply of goods like potato chips, tissues, granola bars and deodorant. But they rarely have a steady supply of menstrual products.

Menstrual products, the most popular of which are tampons and maxi pads, are an extremely important to menstruators’ mental and physical health. Struggling to find these menstrual products on campus might lead to stress, embarrassment, financial strain and problems with hygiene. For many menstruators, periods are unfortunately a source of shame. Those with insecurities about menstruation might have an especially difficult time coping with the lack of available products on campus.

It might be argued the menstruators at Brandeis should buy their tampons in large quantities at convenience stores like Walgreens or CVS. Unfortunately, this is not always realistic. Menstrual products are often an emergency purchase. Menstruators buying menstrual products at the C-store might have forgotten to bring them to class, or they may have unexpectedly started their period at an inopportune time. Because of this, declining to reliably stock menstrual products in the C-store puts an unfair burden on Brandeis’s menstruating population. Without easy access to menstrual products, Brandeis students might have to miss classes or spend an unfair amount of time traveling to off-campus stores. This can cause undue stress and negatively impact their grades.

Brandeis would be a much more hospitable place for menstruators if the C-store kept a steady supply of a variety of menstrual products. Increased availability of menstrual products will lead to improved academic performance, increased free time and decreased stress among menstruators.

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