The results are in, the wait is over: Cornell University’s students have spoken, and they want free tampons for the men, too.
The #FreeTheTampon movement seeks to provide menstrual products for free to students of all genders on campus because, apparently, men have periods too. The movement isn’t limited to Cornell—it recently scored a big victory at Brown University. In the referendum at Cornell, 78.6% of the students said they want the school to offer tampons and pads in the men’s restrooms on campus.
Proponents of the referendum claim that menstrual products are a “basic human right, like water or shelter” and that it’s “insane” to think that they should not be free for all students. Opponents argue that the move is a waste of money. They believe providing them for free in the women’s restroom is a smart move, but with less than 1% of the school’s population identifying as transgender it would be a complete waste to have them in the men’s restroom as well.
The Cornell Review has comments from opponents of the referendum in their story, with one student writing: “In any situation in which a discussion is being had about a given institution providing some good or service for free, it is essential to first be able to estimate the cost of such a provision prior to implementing it.” Another student noted that “[i]t seems expensive, and unnecessary.” Another chimed in that “[h]aving the school subsidize more products leads to an increasing cost for students to attend…where does the subsidizing stop? The school shouldn’t provide other services that aren’t directly relevant or necessary for education.”
The results of the referendum will now be brought to the president of Cornell, Hunter R. Rawlings III, and it will be up to him to decide if the school needs to waste money on giving tampons to men or not.