FLIP Burger Boutique on Howell Mill Rd.

Georgia State club works to get rid of period poverty

Period @ GSU is a student organization that offers menstruation products to students who don’t have access to them. Photo by Matt Siciliano-Salazar | The Signal

Last week, The Signal sat down with Kaila Browner to talk about periods, a not-so-fashionable or openly discussed topic. Browner, a senior at Georgia State, believes ending the stigma of talking about periods in public is extremely important. Period. 

Browner, the president of the organization Period @GSU, started the group in October 2018. Period is a global organization with chapters all over the world, but Browner decided to take it to her own city and university. 

Browner decided to start the organization because she’s very passionate about women understanding their bodies and educating themselves on what isn’t freely talked about. 

“It’s important to educate, it really is because people don’t know a lot about their periods,” Browner said. “You think you know because you’re bleeding, but you don’t know if something is wrong or what to look out for besides the bleeding. Like, what about discharge, the color, the smell, the consistency?” 

Period @GSU holds several events to educate women on their bodies and even help other women outside of Georgia State have access to period products. 

“We have seminars, so you’re learning the difference between your menstrual cups, pads, how long you should leave a tampon in or how likely you are to get toxic shock syndrome,” Browner said. “People don’t know how to discard pads and tampons so it doesn’t smell, and I’m glad we exist for that reason, to educate people on it.“

As for the women outside of Georgia State who aren’t educated on period health, Browner does everything she can do to help out women who may not be as fortunate to have pads or tampons. Along with the seminars, Period @GSU holds at least three period-packing parties and community service events per semester to give back and help bring period poverty to an end. 

“It used to make me feel so good giving these homeless women pads and tampons, but then I realized that’s just what you’re supposed to do,” she said. “As women, even if you’re not dirt poor, sometimes, we have to use socks or tissues, whatever’s available to us because sometimes we may not have $7 to buy a box of pads,” Browner said. 

Wake Forest University

Browner stressed the issue of period poverty and how it affects all of us. With menstrual products having a luxury tax placed on them, Browner has talked to several senators and representatives to make a change regarding this. 

“If you’re a woman and just so happen to bleed, as a woman does, how is that a luxury? So sorry I bleed and cramp, so sorry,” she said. 

Along with senators and representatives, Browner’s vision for the future is to have the tampon tax removed completely and to make any space an open space to talk about periods. 
Period @GSU is currently located in Room 128 at Langdale Hall. Anyone is welcome and donations are accepted at the front of the room in a water cooler box. To sign up for more information or to become a member, students can email period.gsu@gmail.com.