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Sept. 28, 2021

Northwest begins offering free feminine hygiene products on campus

By Kourtnie Stenwall, communication assistant


Northwest Missouri State University’s We Gotchya organization is moving beyond baskets in restrooms and is now unlocking feminine hygiene boxes in all academic building restrooms on campus.

Founded in 2018 by a group of Northwest faculty and staff, We Gotchya placed baskets in women’s restrooms in academic buildings to provide free feminine products for women who may need them while encouraging women who have extra products to leave them.

The Northwest Student Senate’s recent approval of $22,000 in funding to a We Gotchya endowment started last summer is providing the University with the ability to unlock the feminine hygiene boxes and provide feminine products for free in academic buildings.

Northwest marketing research students in fall 2019 studied the local views of feminine products and We Gotchya. From a survey conducted by the class, 41 percent of respondents said they had to miss class due to a monthly period. Further, Northwest is one of just five colleges and universities in Missouri to provide free period products, according to research by We Gotchya. This adds Northwest to a growing list of college and universities offering free period products to students.

“The funding helps the campus in so many ways,” Jacquie Lamer, the founder of We Gotchya and a senior instructor of mass media, said. “The most immediate is that students won’t miss class when their periods start. Having tampons and pads available for free in academic buildings means when a student starts menstruating but doesn’t have a pad, they don’t have to go home.”

Offering free feminine products requires changes to custodial procedures and funding to cover supply costs. With the recent Student Senate contribution, the endowment will cover the expense of supplying 38 dispensers, which allows each academic building to have period products available for free indefinitely.

A year ago, Spencer Martin, the general manager for Campus Dining at Northwest, unlocked a dispenser in the women’s restroom in Bearcat Commons. The dispenser provided an example of a converted dispenser, and Campus Dining covered all expenses related to the dispenser products.

The goal of We Gotchya is to provide resources to women who need them and engage in a broader discussion about menstruation, the luxury tax on the items and the taboo that exists about periods in society. With the support of alumni donations to the endowment, We Gotchya will be able to keep the feminine hygiene boxes open. For more information about We Gotchya, visit wegotchya.org.


Media contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704