The Bruin Pantry at Salt Lake Community College is currently carrying menstrual cups, adding to the already-robust selection of hygiene products that can be found at any of the pantry’s five campus locations.
Bruin Pantry Coordinator Diya Shah said the new year’s fiscal budget allowed for a small supply of menstrual cups. Supply is limited for now, and Shah said they are unsure if more will be forthcoming once the pantry runs out.
Shah advocated for the use of menstrual cups, mentioning specifically their eco-friendly nature. “To some, menstrual cups are a way of knowing yourself; to [others], it might be an issue of sustainability,” Shah said.
Depending on care, a menstrual cup can last six months to 10 years, according to Healthline. The cups are wearable for up to 12 hours, another reason why some users find them more convenient than pads or tampons, which typically last four to eight hours.
Shah said distributing the menstrual cups has been somewhat slow-going. Some students, she continued, aren’t aware that the pantry carries hygiene products, and others may not feel as if the Bruin Pantry is for them to utilize.
“In the past, people would think that [they] didn’t need it as much as someone else,” Shah explained. “[And] with menstruation, I think there is an added stigma.”
Shah said all SLCC community members – students, faculty and staff alike – are encouraged to grab a cup, whether they know about its use or are simply interested in trying out the product.
Shah wants students to feel welcome and to know that the Bruin Pantry is open to everyone. “Menstruation is gender-neutral,” she said, adding that she tries to encourage people to see the five Pantry locations as “stigma-free zones.”
Although students are free to grab pads and tampons, menstrual cup procurements are recorded and tracked for budget purposes. Staff will simply ask individuals to provide a student number and cup size.
The Bruin Pantry currently carries cup sizes extra small, small and medium. Sizing is based on flow and can differ for everyone.