Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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Red Marks the Spot: Period products now fully available on campus

Karalyn Kolstad
In the new period products dispensers, you can find both pads and tampons.

There is a great deal of panic that people face when they realize they have forgotten to pack a tampon or pad in their backpack. In between classes with a 10-minute walk home, there are very few options with how to deal with it. There were never any resources on campus to help with these situations, until recently. This year, Winona State University (WSU) acquired free menstrual products and is working at placing them in all bathrooms around campus.

Interim president, Kenneth Janz, explained that there was a law passed in May that approved funding for Minnesota State campuses to purchase and include these products.

“In May 2023, Minnesota State Legislature passed a bill (HF 44) that requires all public schools in the state to provide access to menstrual products for students, free of charge,” Janz said. “The legislature also approved funding for Minnesota State campuses to meet this new statutory requirement.”

Additionally, Janz mentioned that Minnesota is the 16th state to pass a menstrual equity bill that mandates free products in schools.

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“The bill is inclusive of all menstruators, including transgender and nonbinary students,” Janz said. “Free menstrual products will be placed in all bathrooms used by students, including all women’s, men’s and gender-neutral restrooms on campus.”

Fourth-year student, Hannah Dunlavy, explained that she has found herself in many situations where these products would have been helpful, and she is grateful for the implementation.

“I’d be in between classes, unable to go home, and completely forgot to pack one,” Dunlavy said. “Before, I would be out of luck and have to deal with it or skip class and go home. I am grateful I will not have to worry about that anymore.”

Janz recognized the stress these situations bring to students and said that this change will hopefully reduce anxiety around the subject.

“It will be most beneficial because it removes stress when a student does not have access to one,” Janz said. “Being a student in and of itself is stressful enough.”

Dunlavy shared her thoughts on the passing of HF 44 and how it can help improve campus.

“I definitely think it moves us in the right direction in terms of equity,” Dunlavy said. “It is important to have resources on campus, especially with how expensive they can be in stores. Free access will help a lot of students out in many ways.”

One of the struggles Janz spoke about was the funding and support from the Minnesota Legislature. He claimed that their approval and stance was particularly important for moving this project forward, and that campus clubs have been trying to implement this for more than a few years.

“The Winona State Student Senate has been working toward providing this service on campus for more than four years now,” Janz said. “Support from the Minnesota Legislature was very important.”

Janz further explained that the requirement will go into effect January 1st, 2024.

“Winona State has begun placement of free menstrual products and dispensers in all campus bathrooms,” Janz said. “Facilities is working to keep the supplies fully stocked.”

Dunlavy made sure to thank the members involved in making this movement possible.

“I just want to thank the people who made this happen because I truly don’t think people realize how big of a step this is,” Dunlavy said. “We are really grateful and excited for the opportunity for growth on campus.”

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About the Contributors
Reanne Weil
Reanne Weil, News Editor

Reanne Weil is a News Reporter for The Winonan and started in Spring 2023. Weil is a fourth-year at Winona State University majoring in Journalism and double-minoring in Spanish and Creative Digital Media.

In addition to working for The Winonan, Weil is a member and captain of the Division II Women’s Soccer Team at WSU. She is also a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC).

Outside of school, Weil works remotely for her local newspaper. She loves spending her free time with her friends and family. She enjoys watching the television show Friends and Disney movies with her favorite snack, popcorn and M&M’s.

Karalyn Kolstad
Karalyn Kolstad, Photographer
Karalyn Kolstad (she/her/hers) is a photographer for The Winonan. This is Karalyn's first semester with The Winonan. She is a third-year student at Winona State University majoring in Medical Laboratory Science. She is also the secretary of the Biology Club on campus. Outside of school, Karalyn enjoys hanging out with friends and family, watching movies and reading. 

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