Columbia Provides Free Sanitary Items in Campus Restrooms

April 14, 2023

Columbia University has initiated a program to provide free menstrual products in 39 buildings across its three main campuses.

The program was implemented to improve and expand access to menstrual items for Columbia’s students, faculty, staff, and visitors, in line with recommendations by former members of Columbia’s student councils.

Columbia’s Custodial team consulted with Dr. Marni Sommer, Director of the Gender, Adolescent Transitions, and Environment (GATE) program and Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health, to bring the program into fruition. In 2021, dispensers offering free menstrual pads and tampons were installed in every women’s and gender-neutral restroom of the most highly trafficked buildings on the Morningside, Manhattanville, and Irving Medical Center campuses to provide the most equitable reach of menstrual products.

Dispensers offering free menstrual pads and tampons can be found in bathrooms in the following buildings:

Morningside Campus

  • Alumni Center
  • Avery Hall
  • Buell Hall
  • Butler Library
  • Carman Hall (lobby-level)
  • Chandler Hall
  • Computer Science
  • Dodge Hall
  • Dodge Physical Fitness Center
  • Earl Hall
  • East Campus (lobby-level)
  • Engineering Terrace
  • Fairchild
  • Fayerweather
  • Hamilton Hall
  • Havemeyer Hall
  • Havemeyer Extension
  • Kent Hall
  • Lerner Hall
  • Mathematics
  • McBain Hall (lobby-level)
  • Mudd
  • Philosophy Hall
  • Pupin
  • School of Social Work

Manhattanville Campus

  • David Geffen Hall
  • Henry R. Kravis Hall
  • Jerome L. Greene Science Center
  • Lenfest Center of the Arts
  • Prentis Hall

Irving Medical Center

  • 50 Haven Avenue
  • Allan Rosenfield Building
  • Alumni Auditorium and Schaefer Awards Gallery
  • Georgian Residence
  • Hammer Health Sciences Center
  • Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center
  • Russ Berrie Medical Science Pavilion
  • School of Nursing Building
  • Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons Building

Products are restocked weekly and usage is monitored by the custodial team. 

In addition to these buildings, Columbia Health provides free menstrual products at its John Jay Hall location.