Last updated on January 23, 2022
At the end of last school year, Lorenzo Funk (‘22) began his campaign for President of our Student Government Association. Although he had many visions for our school, he stood out through his promises to increase menstrual product access. On November 19th, the new tampon/pad dispenser was installed in the second floor girl’s bathroom, and by the end of the day, many girls had already taken advantage of the new supply.
Lorenzo first noticed the problem when his friends were choosing to stay virtual last year due to the lack of product access in school. Over the summer, he realized that he knew very little about cycles and henceforth began to research possible solutions. Eventually he discovered Flo: the period product dispenser which can now be found at City.
In most high schools, a stigma tends to exist surrounding menstrual cycles. People often feel judged for their cycle, which adds to an already stressful school environment. When a few girls were asked to fill out a survey regarding this matter, they said they notice the stigma at City through the actions of our administration. The current restricted bathroom access (only allowing one student out of the room at a time) puts those on their periods in an awkward position and forces them to wait longer than necessary to use the restroom. When talking about whether or not she noticed the stigma, Arizona Fischvogt (‘24), says: “In some cases yes because I’ve seen teachers not let female students go to the bathroom even when they say they’re on their cycle. The reason being ‘someone was already out’.” The infamous bathroom regulation has already been noticed as a problem by students, regardless of gender. Reducing the stigma sounds difficult, but many girls say it can be diminished by increasing the “one person in the bathroom at a time” rule to allow more students to be out at once.
Another student, Farrah Scott (‘24) agreed to seeing the problem. She mentioned:“They don’t talk about what they can do to help the women and other people dealing with periods in City.” It can feel isolating knowing there is a lack of support coming from our administration on this matter, especially when the problem can be easily solved through communication and providing aid to students. The new dispenser, however, shows that change is approachable. The average high school boy may not think about the struggles of being on a cycle at school- so when Funk advocated for change, it was noticed and appreciated by students affected by this issue at City. Perhaps the administration would consider altering its bathroom policy to better fit it’s students’ needs.
Lorenzo agreed that solving this problem allowed him to see others around City, although mainly he says: “it restored my faith in that people are happy to support new solutions and initiatives.” Next, Funk wants to increase size and variety ASAZ within the products. Outside of this issue, Lorenzo is currently working with others in Student Government to increase inclusion between the LGBTQ+ community and Baltimore City College.