There is no question that there is a stigma surrounding the discussion of periods. This is the reason that Linzy Rosen ’22 began a chapter of PERIOD, a global organization, at Brandeis in spring 2019.
Now the president of PERIOD at Brandeis, Rosen started the club in order to spur conversation about menstrual equity that she felt was missing on the Brandeis campus.
In an email to The Brandeis Hoot, she stated that “When I came to Brandeis, I noticed a critical piece of social justice, menstrual equity, was missing from conversations everywhere.
There was a huge lack of knowledge and education surrounding the topic. I knew it was time to be brave and take action. I’ve poured all my energy and passion into creating PERIOD.”
All the time believing in her mission, Rosen has put in hard work building this club from the ground up at Brandeis. The club began with Rosen making posts on Facebook and recruiting members at the end of the 2019 February break. After a Student Union vote in May 2019, PERIOD officially became a recognized club.
Her hard work recruiting has paid off; 20 people attended each weekly meeting for PERIOD by the end of last semester, and now there are over 120 people on their listserv. Additionally, the club now has a leadership team consisting of six different positions.
While there are many supporters of PERIOD at Brandeis, Rosen did face setbacks at the advent of her club, due to the stigma around talking about periods.
In her words, “Our biggest challenge has been navigating the stigma surrounding menstruation within the campus community, including Brandeis administrators and students. Our club members had to tirelessly present appeals to the Club Support Committee last spring to justify the legitimacy of our message and our existence on campus. We also ran into difficulty when the Department of Student Activities was worried about the menstrual product drive visibility. Deconstructing the stigma is, and will always be, both our greatest challenge and our greatest reason for existing!”
After fighting this challenging battle with Brandeis administration, PERIOD experienced success working with them on a menstrual product drive in May 2019. According to Rosen, the club “received support from so many clubs as well as the Gender and Sexuality Center. It was incredible to receive an overflowing box of donations for the Waltham Community Day Center and the Bristol Lodge.”
PERIOD is not stopping there! This semester, they will be hosting a variety of fun events, ranging from a film screening of the Oscar-winning “Period. End of Sentence” and a period open mic night. They also plan to lobby our elected government officials to support menstrual equity bills, as well as attend National Period Day Rally in Boston on October 19, which Rosen has been organizing. Finally, the next big step that PERIOD is working on is becoming a chartered club at Brandeis.
Students who want to get involved can do so by attending PERIOD’s weekly meetings, which occur every Thursday at 8 p.m. in the SCC Room 313, or by attending any of PERIOD’s upcoming events. PERIOD can also be found on social media at Period.Brandeis