Mason Students Become More Involved in Community Health
BY KIM BARTENFELDER, STAFF WRITER
The National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) hosted their first #HappyPeriod event on Nov. 8 in The Hub, encouraging Mason students to think more about women’s menstrual health in the local community.
The main focus of #HappyPeriod was to reach as many local women as possible. Member Yassmin Salem suggested that NSCS should donate feminine hygiene care kits made to the 501(c)(3) organization Bringing Resources to Aid Women’s Shelter’s (BRAWS) in Vienna, which provides both undergarments and menstrual supplies to all females that live in shelters.
Salem said that, “It’s actually really hard to find a place where we can donate feminine hygiene care kits.” Salem continued, “I found BRAWS through another nonprofit that I’m involved in.”
“What’s special about BRAWS is that they are a free tampon center in the Vienna community,” said Salem.
Tampons, pads and panty liners can be both expensive and uncommon in many locations, making accessibility of these products difficult for many women. Menstruation is inevitable, so organizations like BRAWS and events like #HappyPeriod allow young adults on campus to combat overpriced and environmentally unfriendly products and services.
NSCS Vice President Rose Sanchez, said that for any event to be successful, “it’s about the motivation behind wanting to help others rather than the numbers.” The #HappyPeriod event helps create a sense of community.
One struggle expressed was while many shelters and nonprofits rely heavily on other sorts of donations such as clothing and canned food. However, feminine products often go overlooked.
Vice President of Community Service, Emilee Schipske, said that for
#HappyPeriod her goal was to have “more bags to give to more women than less
bags with more items.”
With the amount of donations made at the event, NSCS was able to make twenty-six feminine hygiene care kits. Each kit contained ten pads, seven pantyliners and six tampons.
Members of NSCS had different ideas of what #HappyPeriod means to them.
“Well, it starts a discussion,” Schipske said. “It looks past what shelters ask of the public at surface level and addresses real problems.”
Salem does not believe that women should have to pay for menstrual products, “Organic is better for you and buying products should align with your values. Some people aren’t as fortunate so this is why we do what we do,” said Salem.
NSCS is built upon many values, with community service being arguably the most important. Having the #HappyPeriod event was about “being active in our community,” said Schipske.