The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

Lack of feminine products sparks school-wide action

Cebelli Pfeifer
Although the women’s bathrooms do not provide free feminine products, they do however, have working facilities including sinks, newly replaced mirrors and hand dryers.

The lack of free feminine products provided in student restrooms has sparked a conversation about improving Woodside restrooms in addition to prompting district action.

One way the issue has been addressed is through the leadership classes’ creation of a new sub-committee called the “Water Closet Committee.”

“Water Closet [committee] is a group of students in leadership that have been put in charge of making the bathrooms at Woodside better,” Water Closet lead Nick Posch said. “We recently sent out a survey to see what students think needs to be fixed with regard to the bathrooms. One of the top results from that survey was the addition of feminine hygiene products to the bathrooms.”

This committee aims to not only devise a plan for providing students with free feminine products but also to improve the conditions of the restrooms as a whole within the next few months.

“Who better to make decisions about the bathrooms than students,” Posch said. “We’re working hard to make the bathrooms at Woodside a more comfortable environment for all, and we hope that the addition of feminine hygiene products in the coming months will be a foundation for future changes made by the committee.”

Health facilities president Chuck Velschow is largely responsible for overseeing student-provided equipment and resources. Part of his responsibility is to check in with the health facilities being used by students and focus on what they lack, as well as how they can be improved.

“It was actually a goal of this year to have products in every bathroom,” Velschow said. “The district was supposed to get us these dispensers that were going to be installed, [however,] because of a [alleged] supply shortage, we haven’t gotten them in yet.”

Supplying the products is only part of the objective; making sure the products are free of charge also must be taken into account.

“They’re supposed to be dispensers that enable kids to get [feminine products] for free,” Velschow said. “We are hoping to get those dispensers in soon.”

There are specific guidelines that require schools to provide certain facilities and products for students. Schools that are considered “Title I schools require at least 50% of female restrooms to be stocked with free feminine products at all times. Currently, Woodside is not currently a Title I school.

“Title I schools are mandated to have a certain amount of feminine products accessible to students,” Velschow said. “It’s been about two or three years since we were at the title one level.”

This however could change next year, which would prompt Woodsides health and facilities team to put their dispensary plan into action sooner than later.

“We always flip in and out of being a title 1 school, and I believe we are not a title one this year,” Velschow stated. “However, this could change next year; it really just depends.”

At the end of the day, Woodside has an ethical responsibility to provide students with the necessary hygienic products. The measures taken to provide students with free feminine products are currently in action, but until the dispensers are distributed among the bathrooms, free feminine products are always accessible free of charge from the school nurse. 

“It’s an equity thing, I mean those are things that can be provided, that’s why students can get them from the nurse, you can always get them there.”

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About the Contributor
Cebelli Pfeifer
Cebelli Pfeifer, Co-Editor in Chief
Cebelli Pfeifer is a senior and third-year journalist. She enjoys writing about politics, environmentalism, and topics around civil rights. She hopes to make a difference, raise awareness, and have an impact on her community with her work. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching movies, exploring the outdoors, and hanging out with friends. Check out Cebelli's portfolio here.

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    HeatherNov 30, 2022 at 3:30 PM

    Thank you for highlighting this important work!