Section: Editorial

Staff Editorial: There will be blood

After trudging around campus and sacrificing two dollars’ worth of quarters and dimes, the Collegian staff struggled to find tampons and pads in bathroom dispensers in Kenyon buildings. Dispensers were often marked as empty, already had coins inside or simply did not work. Sometimes, the machines ate our coins and gave us nothing in return.
Many public bathrooms on campus do not even have dispensers, and the age of the building did not affect this. Both the Gund Gallery and Lentz House are recent additions, but the Gund Gallery had dispensers in the bathrooms and Lentz House did not. The Ransom Hall dispensers featured 1980s-era graphics, and a dispenser in Ascension Hall contained an aerosol can where the tampons should be. There was also a discrepency in prices, from 50 cents in the Gund Gallery to 10 cents in Ascencion Hall. In contrast, a box of Tampax costs $7 for 32 tampons, approximately 22 cents for a tampon. A 25-cent fee is more appropriate than half a dollar.
As we heard from a member of the maintenance staff, these machines haven’t been stocked in years. By the looks of some of the vintage tampons we found in Ransom Hall and the third floor of Peirce Dining Hall, one would think tampons don’t expire.
Except, well, they do have expiration dates. And older tampons could house bacteria and mold that could cause vaginal infections or, in rare cases, Toxic Shock Syndrome.
We understand menstruation probably isn’t the first thing on the minds of the administrators interviewed for our article — the majority of whom are male — but the lack of access to tampons and pads in public bathrooms is a problem. These coin-operated dispensers are essential for the moments every individual who menstruates has experienced: realizing that it’s that time of the month, and you have no supplies on hand.
After a presidential election that has left some pessimistic about the near future of women’s rights and health options, there is no better time for Kenyon to prioritize access to feminine hygiene products.


Comments for this article have closed. If you'd like to send a letter to the editor for publication, please email us at