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Supporting menstruation with a Period Party

Bleeding monthly is no fun. It’s expensive, it’s tiresome, and it’s incredibly stigmatized. 

All things red decorated Mohawk College’s flex space on Nov. 1, while the window let in the sparse sunlight during the cold day. Red balloons hung from the ceiling and were scattered on the tile floor, while red ribbons acted as a curtain in the doorway. A uterus piñata hung by ribbon from the ceiling as well. 

The Mohawk Students’ Association (MSA) put together a Period Party, an event aimed at dismantling the stigma surrounding menstruation.

“We’re trying to talk about period equity and provide different options for students at no cost,” Jessalyn Carvajal, a supervisor in health services, said. 

From white chocolate-covered strawberries with dessert pipettes filled with red juice to pretzel sticks coated and coloured to look like a used tampon, the food offered to visitors was tasty and humorous. 

“We also have some grapes that are a representation of, like, blood,” Samuel Valdes, an MSA events assistant, said with a chuckle while handing out the comically-themed period treats. “And of course, some bloody tampons.”

Students and health services staff at the Period Party.
A ‘Menstruation Celebration’ was also held at the IAHS Campus on Nov. 2.

The atmosphere was lively, aided by the upbeat music and the enthusiasm brought by the staff in the Health and Wellness Centre who offered all kinds of information about menstruation. 

Carvajal demonstrated the usage of menstrual cups and screened interested users for the perfect size to suit their periods. 

“We’re really excited to be talking to students about menstrual cups,” Carvajal said. “We’re talking about how to care for it [menstrual cup], how to fold it, how to insert it, how it’s removed, all that good stuff. Just so that students feel more prepared.”

Carvajal wasn’t the only one spreading menstrual awareness and education.

Katie Agnew, the full-time nurse in the Health Centre, was restocking the tables of free pads and tampons for students to take when she wasn’t informing visitors about the products and what the centre offers in health services.

By noon, the piñata was ready to be beaten to a pulp. Students lined up to take their hits, and while the piñata fell to the floor before it broke, the end result got cheers as Kit Kat bars spewed out.

The Period Party concluded with students walking out with stacks of free products in hand, as well as menstrual information from a judgement-free environment. 

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