The Mark Inspires Leadership’s Hygiene Drive

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Illustrated by Olivia Hom

Leadership is organizing a hygiene drive to collect menstrual products and other toiletries. The drive, which began on January 23rd and will run until Mid-Winter Break, was inspired by senior Katie Doran’s opinion piece “M-A Should Be Providing Menstrual Products, Period.” In recent editions of the PTA’s newsletter, Bear Notes, the Quarter 3 Leadership Drive’s Committee wrote, “Last semester’s edition of the Mark had an opinion piece that caught our eyes in the 5th period Leadership class about the availability of menstrual products in campus bathrooms.”

Sophomore Abbie Macleod, who is on the Drive’s committee, said, “I think that this drive is important because it will be making an immediate impact in our own community within M-A, yet it will also be making an impact in our larger community in Redwood City. Hygiene should be considered a basic human right, and by stripping people of that right, we are stripping them of their dignity.” 

Senior Luka Perazich, who is also on the committee, said, “I am super interested about the opinion piece about menstrual products across campus.” He continued, “This drive is important because there are tons of women and others in the LGBTQ+ community on campus who are not being provided for their basic needs.” 

After having members of the committee check whether or not the M-A bathrooms are being stocked with menstrual products, Perazich said, “The conditions are dismal for a school that is as well-off as M-A, and I wanted to do something about it.”

He added, “On top of that, we usually raise hygiene products during the Canned Food Drive as a part of the bags we distribute, and just didn’t get that many or advertise it this year, so I thought this would be a great way to catch up on what we didn’t get done.”

The drive has also partnered with Simply the Basics to help collect infant diapers, baby wipes, and travel-size tissues. Macleod explained, “These will be sent to a Redwood City receiving site, where survivors of domestic violence and trafficking are provided with their legal needs free of charge, and by providing these needed supplies, this organization will be able to ‘Serve their clients by meeting their most basic needs with dignity,’ according to Simply the Basics. By providing these resources, clients will be able to focus on finding safe and stable housing instead of worrying about their hygiene.”

Perazich said, “I hope that more of the student population will feel comfortable using school-provided period products. I recognize this is a band-aid solution and will not work in the long term, but hopefully this can improve conditions until admin comes up with a permanent solution. Of course, this will only work if the admin has pressure on them to do so, so I urge those who care to show up to Shared Decision Making Site Council meetings and write to our school administration to make this change possible.”

Macleod had similar hopes, and said, “Within M-A, we hope to raise enough resources to not only restock the menstrual products in the girls’ bathrooms but also to create a long-term solution to this pressing issue. Within our extended community, we hope to provide support to those in need by equipping them with necessary resources for them to lead a safe and healthy life.”

Doran said, “While it’s great that students are taking initiative to address an important issue on our campus, this is something school staff should be responsible for. It shouldn’t take a student-led drive and fundraiser for M-A to satisfy a legal requirement that the state offers funding for.” 

If you’re interested in donating, you can bring all donations to the collection bins in front of the office or in the Leadership room (B-21).

Natalie Shannon is a sophomore and it is her first year in Journalism writing for MA chronicle. She enjoys writing about events and fun activities happening around school. In her free time, Natalie likes hanging out with her friends.

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