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There’s a petition to provide Newcastle Uni students with free sanitary products

It currently has over 200 signatures

A combined honours student at Newcastle University has started a petition campaigning for free sanitary protection products at Newcastle university.

The Newcastle Tab spoke to Julia McGee-Russell who told us her reasons for launching the petition. She said: "The idea to start this petition came from one of our News Team shows at NSR, where we talked about period poverty, the recent Scottish and Welsh government’s funding towards ending it, as well as the free products made available at Newcastle College."

Julia is hoping the petition will "help our SU president Raff Marioni and welfare officer Jack Green in instituting a new policy to provide free sanitary products in all university buildings. The more people sign the petition, the more it is made clear to the university that this is something the students really want.

"137,700 girls missed school last year because they couldn’t afford period products, and that financial situation for many will not ease once they come to university. If the university funds free condoms, why not sanitary products? You decide to have sex, but you can’t help having a period. I’m certain that funding free sanitary products university-wide will ease the financial strain for many people, as well as making everyone with a period feel much more supported by the university. Periods aren’t something to be ashamed of, and they definitely shouldn’t be as costly as they are."

Sanitary products are not a luxury item but a necessity and a few months ago The Tab reported on free sanitary protection becoming available for all students in Scotland. Newcastle students are now getting on board to make this happen here.

Newcastle SU president Raff Marioni is fully backing the movement and told The Newcastle Tab: "Getting the university to provide free sanitary items across campus was a key campaign promise of mine when I got elected, and it still is.

"Sanitary products are not a luxury, they’re a necessity and should be as accessible as possible. It would be an amazing introduction to campus and something I’m so keen to introduce. It would allow the average student to save that little bit extra, while potentially having a huge benefit for students in a less fortunate position. If the university introduced free sanitary items across campus, it would be a massive step in demonstrating how progressive it is.

"Finally, quick shoutout to the students and societies who are spreading the word about the petition and raising money for charities such as the Red Box Project in the hope of tackling period poverty on campus, in Newcastle and in the UK."

You can help make a difference and sign the petition here.