The University Women’s Centre launched a new service, the Menstruation Station, adding to their list of inclusive resources.
The University Women’s Centre is a safe space on campus that aims to provide resources, services and a comforting environment for UNB, STU, and NBCC students. It is located in room 129 of the Student Union Building.
Alice Armstrong, chair of the University Women’s Centre, was introduced to the Women’s Centre in her first year at UNB while taking a Gender and Women's Studies course. She ended up at the Women’s Centre as part of a volunteer project, and has stayed involved ever since.
“The Women’s Centre primarily is a safe space,“ she said. “A lot of the conversation that happens here are to do with women’s rights and women’s issues and there’s no stigma around that.”
The Centre aims to provide a safe and comfortable space on campus, focusing on women’s issues while remaining accessible to all students.
“It’s called the University Women’s Centre because we focus a lot on women’s specific issues, like a lot of women feel unsafe on campus for a variety of reasons. But the centre is open to anybody regardless of your gender identity or gender expression,” said Armstrong. “Everybody is allowed in here as long as you’re safe and understanding of women’s issues and respect people’s need for resources.”
This year the centre saw the addition of their Menstruation Station, consisting of a basket with hot water bottles and heating pads for period pain relief.
“If people are uncomfortable, like having cramps or something, then they can just use those and recharge on campus, which is an issue for a lot of people,” said Armstrong.
Some people can experience cramps painful enough that they can have difficulty attending class. Armstrong says the new station has been well received and a lot of people have been using and appreciating it.
This year, the centre has undergone small renovations, including new paint and a new logo, to expand the centre’s outreach. They want students to know about the resources they offer and that are available to them.
“As long as the doors are open, then our resources are available to anybody on campus. UNB, STU, or NBCC,” said Armstrong.
Some other resources offered include a table of informational pamphlets, latex-free condoms, dental dams, and feminine hygiene products.
The doors of the Centre are kept open by about 30 volunteers.
“[The volunteers] help keep the centre tidy and clean or if somebody comes and is looking for a resource they can tend to help direct them,” she said.
Armstrong says the volunteers have a lot of fun working in the centre. They often use the space to study. It is important for them to be there to maintain access to the Centre.
The centre is also slowly trying to become more sustainable. To help achieve this, they are working and collaborating with UNB Sustainability.