Students have sent an open letter to the Students’ Guild which states that there has been ‘no meaningful communication’ on a student idea calling for free sanitary products to be available on campus, despite the idea having been passed in December. The letter asks the Guild to contact the person who originally submitted the idea and inform them of how and when the idea will be implemented, commit to adopting a free sanitary product scheme and consult universities which have successfully implemented such a scheme.
“[the guild] have shown no desire to introduce a scheme which would make campus and higher education a more inclusive place for people who menstruate”
Molly May Smith, who created the idea, told Exeposé: ‘‘Since the idea passed in December there’s been next to no meaningful communication from the Guild. They’ve shown no desire to introduce a scheme which would make campus and higher education a more inclusive place for people who menstruate. The recent government announcement of free sanitary products for all those in secondary schools and colleges shows there is a real need for us to engage in a wider conversation around period poverty and the taboo around menstruation, a discussion which has yet to reach Exeter’s campus and has in fact been halted by the Guild’s inefficiency.’’
Neha Shaji, DVP Democracy and Governance, said: ‘‘I was unaware of FemSoc not receiving any feedback on their idea, and am quite disappointed that they have not. The Student Ideas system was closed down for this term to allow staff to work on existing ideas, and in theory this means that ideas which have passed would eventually receive a contact on the progress of their idea. However, it is important to also consider that staff time this term has been taken up by a governance review and the student elections, hence responses may have been slower. However, as it seems that it’s been quite a while, I will go check on this myself and urge staff to respond to this idea as soon as possible. It seems like a fantastic initiative and I am excited to see it carried out by the Guild.”
“it is important to also consider that staff time this term has been taken up by a governance review and the student elections”
A Guild spokesperson told Exeposé: ‘‘The Guild can confirm that this student idea passed, and that the proposer of the idea was communicated with by email regarding the progress of the idea earlier this week [beginning 18th March]. The idea will be developed the same as other student ideas, and is still in stage one of progression. Stage one sees Sabbatical Officers agree to remit under the mandate of their roles, templates and communication drafts are put in place and the University is contacted by Sabbatical Officers. Ongoing progress updates are made to the tracker, available on the Guild website.’’
This article originally appeared in print 25/03/2019.