Edina Zephyrus

Students Call for Female Hygiene Dispensers in EHS Restrooms

Simone Vaillancourt, page editor

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Several students at Edina High School are petitioning the administration for feminine hygiene product dispensers in girls’ restrooms. Many students were surprised to learn of the absence of such dispensers; though the district middle schools and even some elementary schools have them, there are no dispensers at the high school.

Senior Lily Goldaris has been collaborating with other female students to advocate for the dispensers. Senior Brianna Lee approached Goldaris for help voicing her opinion on the issue, and they have since created online and hard-copy petitions asking that students support their cause. The girls hope to use the petitions as a way to start a conversation with administration regarding the issue.

“The petition for us was a supplement to the proposal we wanted to bring to administration,” Goldaris said. “We noticed that there was such a need for these machines to be installed just due to accessibility.” The girls wanted to give the administration “paper and pen proof” that there was a need and a cause which had garnered student backing.

Several of the students heading up the effort are leaders of GirlUp Edina and the EHS Young Liberals Club. After they proposed the petitions to their clubs, Goldaris said that the issue received immediate support. “A lot of people were ready to sign right away or just asking how else they could help,” she said. Additionally, several students posted information about the petition on their social media. According to Goldaris, the initiative garnered a positive response from both male and female students, and she said that some male students were shocked that the machines were not already installed.

Those involved in coordinating the petition–including Goldaris and Lee–met with Principal Andy Beaton and the school nurse to discuss the problem. The proposed short-term solution was to temporarily stock higher-quality feminine hygiene products in the nurse’s office. However, Goldaris believes that this plan only partly resolves the issue. “It’s not comfortable for younger girls to have approach a staff member, such as the nurse, to ask for tampons or pads. It’s also not convenient to have to run across the school, which is a disadvantage for girls as they are losing valuable class time when trying to obtain these products,” Goldaris said. “We’re also currently trying to find the vendors [who would stock the machines].”

So far, the petition has been signed by 262 students and staff members. Goldaris hopes that it will not only help to get the machines installed, but will empower a broader conversation on the topic. “People have spoken more openly about women’s menstruation in a school setting,” Goldaris said. “While we are the ones actually figuring it out with the administration, we’ve been able to get people excited about it and others willing to hopefully voice their opinions to the administration that this is something that they would like implemented.”

The petition coordinators hope that the machines will be installed in both the girls’ and gender neutral bathrooms throughout the school by the end of the academic year. So far, Goldaris feels that she and her peers are taking the right steps towards resolving the problem. “We want to increase accessibility and increase quality. We want to open a conversation on [this issue] and to start to actually take the steps to get those machines implemented.”

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About the Contributors
Simone Vaillancourt, print editor-in-chief

Simone (Salmon) Vaillancourt is a junior at EHS, and is excited to be on Zephyrus. A vegetarian enthusiast who dislikes vegans (apparently it’s a thing), Simone likes to eat disappointment sandwiches on the daily. Even so, you can find her flyfishing mostly every weekend (ironic we know). Proud of the Canadian blood running through her veins, she keeps a mini fridge full of maple syrup in the corner of her room and doesn’t let anyone touch it. However, despite having maple-syrup thickened blood, she was born in Texas, causing her to feel a sense of patriotism for America nonetheless. Not only that, but she religiously drinks Tim Hortons coffee and has a secret obsession with lumberjacks. Being the queen of cheese, nothing can stop this girl from making a mean grilled cheese sandwich and classic mac (except for that one time when she accidently set a kitchen towel on fire, but we don’t talk about that). Ladies and gentlemen, she might look fit and fabulous but that’s not due to getting swole at the gym but her constantly running away from her phobia of spiders, centipedes, and Bee Jerry Seinfelds. In the words of the legend herself, “I hate running. Actually I hate all forms of exercise really.” You may not find her on the treadmill anytime soon, but there’s a great probability that you will see her paintings, reading, or hanging out in her #mock. After high school, Simone plans to pursue journalism, with the hope of eventually working for National Geographic magazine.

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Zoe Cheung, photography editor

Photography Editor Zoe Cheung, known to friends as “Private Pyle” and to enemies as “that one annoying flautist,” likes to think that she’s pretty cool. She spends most of her time either taking pictures of the moon or stressing that her moon pictures aren’t as cool as NASA’s moon pictures. Zoe is always easy to find in a crowd, as her fashion sense can best be described as “where did you find THAT?” She collects small animals and Nick Ut’s war photos, and has been known to steal flowers from strangers’ gardens. If one wishes to find her (unlikely,) Zoe can typically be found inside the exhibits at the local petting zoo.

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Students Call for Female Hygiene Dispensers in EHS Restrooms