AAUW-OU hosts month-long menstrual product drive

The American Association for University Women at Oakland University (AAUW-OU) is hosting its annual menstrual product drive during November. Feminine hygiene product donations will be collected and distributed to bathrooms across OU’s campus.

AAUW-OU is a student organization focused on advancing equality for all women through education, advocacy and research. The group aims to raise awareness for women’s issues while engaging in community leadership.

In order to support women on campus, AAUW-OU offers various scholarship opportunities. Additionally, members are given the chance to attend the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders each May.

“Our goal is for members to leave campus feeling confident and empowered,” AAUW-OU President Emily Briggs said.

This is Briggs’ first semester in the presidential role for AAUW-OU. She is hoping to get the organization more involved with the local community this year.

Briggs and the rest of the AAUW-OU executive board decided to host a menstrual product drive as their first event of the semester because they wanted to support women’s health. Additionally, current political issues surrounding reproductive rights served as motivation for the event.

“I think this drive is a good way to promote the spirit of giving,” Briggs said. “After all, the holiday season is just around the corner.”

For this menstrual product drive, the AAUW-OU will be collecting feminine hygiene products such as pads, liners, wipes, menstrual cups, tampons and pain relievers. The group also accepts monetary donations, which they will use to buy additional feminine hygiene products.

Donations can be brought to the Office for Student Involvement (OSI), located in the basement of the Oakland Center, from 8-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Donations will be accepted from Oct. 31 through Dec 1. 

“We will put the donations we receive into bathrooms across campus,” Briggs said. “Last year, we collected so many donations that we were able to donate to nonprofit organizations in Rochester.”

Briggs also brought up the need for menstrual products in OU Housing. She explained that AAUW-OU is looking into packaging menstrual products in brown bags to make available to students at the front desk of each dormitory.

“We would like to place brown bags for students in the dorms, because many do not have the means to obtain these resources themselves,” Briggs said. “By packaging the products in brown bags, we will be able to provide these necessities to students in a way that doesn’t make them feel uncomfortable.”

This event comes on the heels of the installation of feminine hygiene dispensers in certain bathrooms around campus, a move initiated by OU’s Student Congress (OUSC). The project faced numerous delays due to miscommunication and scheduling setbacks with OU administration. 

AAUW-OU has many plans for the future of their organization. In December, they plan to host a feel-good meeting for members by providing self care tips.

The club also hopes to host a “Women in the Workplace” open panel in April. At this event, female community leaders will be brought together to discuss their professional experience with students.

For more information on the AAUW-OU menstrual product drive, students can visit their event page. Students can learn more about AAUW-OU by visiting their GrizzOrgs or Instagram.