UA Wellness offers free menstrual cups to MIT students

According to OrganiCup, the number of menstrual cups ordered will save the MIT community around 470,976 pads and tampons

The UA Committee on Student Support & Wellness (UA Wellness) recently gave students a chance to order free menstrual cups, through a partnership with OrganiCup’s CampusCup 2021 program.

OrganiCup is a reusable menstrual cup made with medical-grade silicone that replaces pads and tampons. Through the CampusCup 2021 program, OrganiCup provides partner universities nationwide with free menstrual cups, and tracks each university’s impact, according to their website. According to website estimates, one OrganiCup replaces 528 pads or tampons or two years of menstrual products.

In an email to all undergraduates April 12, UA Wellness announced the project and shared a form for students to order free cups, stating that they hope “offering these products at no cost will reduce some of the barriers associated with trying a menstrual cup,” and encouraging “those who menstruate to consider whether a menstrual cup or another sustainable period product” is “right” for them.

According to Olivia Valle ’22, co-chair of the UA Committee on Student Support & Wellness, the number of sign-ups was higher than expected — 892 students requested a cup. Valle also told The Tech that according to OrganiCup, the number of menstrual cups ordered will save the MIT community around 470,976 pads and tampons over the next couple of years.

Of those who ordered, students living on or near campus can pick up their cups from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. on Friday, May 7 in front of the Student Center. UA Wellness will also be shipping cups to students living far from campus.

Students who didn’t fill out the form may also use a discount code for 20% off on an OrganiCup for a period of three months after the form closes.

This project is one among multiple efforts by UA committees to promote sustainable and cost-effective menstrual products in the MIT community. Previously, UA Wellness was part of the Free Menstrual Hygiene Products Pilot, a project that provided free menstrual products in the bathrooms of academic buildings and residential halls.

In Fall 2019, the UA Committee on Sustainability (UA Sustain) and PLEASURE educators hosted Menstruation Madness, an event that promoted “comfortable and sustainable” menstrual products, including menstrual cups. UA Sustain member Kayleigh Dugas ’21 told The Tech in an interview that this event saw more participation than expected, revealing the interest and need to add sustainable menstrual products to the initiatives already being undertaken.

Dugas also commented on the growing destigmatization of menstrual health during her time at MIT. “There’s this greater conversation ... around menstrual products that I am glad is happening,” she said.