The Guild has a system called Change It, where students can submit an idea for the Guild to implement itself or across the University.
People’s ideas range from lobbying the University to divest from fossil fuels, to lowering laundry costs on campus.
We spoke to Grace Edwards, who put forward a Change It petition for the Guild to offer free sanitary products. The motion has since been passed through Guild Summit, and is currently being looked over.
What are you trying to get the Guild to implement?
“I want the Guild to go one step beyond its current policy of not charging tax on sanitary products, and so I’m challenging them to provide free sanitary products for those in need of them.”
Why do you feel that sanitary products at the Guild should be free?
“There’s lots of students at the University of Liverpool that regularly use sanitary products. There’s been a lot in the media recently about the so-called tampon tax, but for me the real issue here isn’t that they are taxed – it’s that we are expected to pay for them at all. In my opinion, if the Guild can provide free condoms, they can provide free sanitary products. Whilst supposedly we can refrain from sex, those who menstruate can’t refrain from doing so. Our periods come whether or not we can afford to buy sanitary products.”
What has the Guild’s response been to your request?
“It’s going ahead! I think the next step is to arrange suitable and accessible places for the sanitary products to be kept. At the moment I think that they should be kept in boxes or cupboards made available in the gender neutral toilets with the most footfall, which at the moment are the ones close to the Sphinx bar.”
Is there anything you’d do to take this further?
“I’d like to see it rolled out as soon as possible really. I do think the Guild has to make its condoms easier to access as well. I think that if there was a box attached to a wall in the Street perhaps, people might just walk past and think ‘I need to stock up’ as well as pre-planning going there. It’s small changes like this that the Guild can easily implement that will actually make a huge difference to the welfare of their students.
“I’m a committee member of Feminist Society, and we’re working on our own initiatives with regards to this issue. This Christmas we are collaborating with Help The Homeless Society to encourage students to make up “boxes of hope” for the homeless and vulnerable, and we’d like them to include sanitary products in them where possible.”