Moody Communication Council provides period products in Belo Center for New Media women’s restrooms

Madi Margulies

The Moody Communication Council began providing free period products this month in the women’s restrooms of the Belo Center for New Media after a period product donation drive last semester.

Periods ATX started a petition in May 2019 to offer free menstrual products at UT, and it gained about 1,000 signatures, according to the petition page. In 2018, UT launched a pilot program to provide free period products in the Texas Union and the William C. Powers Jr. Student Activity Center, said Kacey Vandervort, outreach chair of the Communication Council. 

Last November, the Communication Council took matters into their own hands to provide the products with a donation drive, said Rebecca McCraney, external director of the Communication Council.

“(We) just recognized there was a problem,” McCraney, a communication and leadership senior, said. “And there was a really easy solution that we could just step up and provide for our fellow students and ourselves.”

According to UT Health Austin, the average cost of a box of tampons is $7, and the average person usually goes through nine boxes per year. Period products can be expensive and difficult to obtain and should be as readily available as the condoms the University provides, McCraney said.  

Available products include tampons, pads and panty liners of various absorbencies, and they can currently be found in the women’s restrooms on the first through fourth floors of the Belo Center for New Media. 

 



Advertising senior Maya Shaddock said the free period products provided by the University are inconsistent and it is hard to know where to get them. 

“It’s definitely nice to have them in Belo specifically because (communication majors) exist there for 90% of our lives,” Shaddock said.

Vandervort said they received about 50 boxes of products and about $250 through Venmo during the period product drive in November.

The Council plans to expand the free menstrual product offerings to the Jesse H. Jones Communication Center and possibly men’s rooms in the communication buildings. They did not originally provide products for the other communications buildings and the men’s rooms because of lack of products, Vandervort said. 

“We were a little surprised at how many donations we got and how invested people became,” McCraney said. “It kind of just blew up.”

The Council is hosting another period product drive in the next few weeks. In the meantime, McCraney said, students can donate products to the Student Leadership Suite in BMC 1.206.