As a continuation of the Free Flow initiative, baskets of menstrual products will soon be replaced with mounted dispensers in six men’s bathrooms on campus. Administrators and student leaders hope that the dispensers will help to stop ongoing incidents involving the products being damaged or thrown away.
Dispensers were installed in several women’s bathrooms in March.
The dispensers each cost $750, according to Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer Matt Orlando. Facilities has already ordered the dispensers, but Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) has said they will reimburse the College for some of the cost.
Harriet Fisher ’17, BSG president and one of the students involved in the project said she believes that replacing the baskets with dispensers is a positive step.
Orlando echoed this sentiment, noting that the dispensers made damaging the menstrual products—which has happened in several men’s bathrooms on multiple occasions—more difficult.
“There was a recent incident in Thorne where the products were tossed around the men’s room by a visiting youth,” Orlando wrote in an email to the Orient. “This sort of thing could happen repeatedly, and it is unfair to the housekeepers who would have to clean up afterward. We could still have incidents occur, but the hope is that the dispensers will serve as a deterrence.”
In March, feces was found in the receptacle for used menstrual products in the first-floor bathroom in David Saul Smith Union. The investigation into the incident remains open.