UCDSU has continued to provide students with free sanitary items, condoms, and lube during current restrictions via post.
The decision was made to ensure that the union can continue to supply students with essential items it is mandated to provide, free of charge.
This service typically runs through the Students' Union Office, located in the Old Student Centre, where students can freely walk in and request these items as needed. This process has been rendered impossible by current Covid-19 restrictions which prevent non-essential staff from accessing work areas, as well as current travel limitations which are preventing many students from getting to campus at all.
As condoms, lube, and sanitary items are bought by the Union in bulk over the summer months, when assurances were given that the campus would be open and functioning with up to 70% in-person class time, no change was made to the order of the items, and the additional cost of shipping has raised the amount spent on the service minimally.
As for whether having less anonymity in requesting these personal items may impact the number of students willing to request them, UCDSU Welfare Officer Ruairí Power said “Absolutely this is a possibility. However, we have sought to accommodate any students who have been in touch with us. Equally, some students may find the process of calling into the student centre intimidating in a standard year, so it’s a positive development to increase awareness that postal delivery will be an option going forward”.
When asked about how the Union will provide these items going forward, Power replied “Whenever a permanent on-site presence is possible within the constraints of public health guidelines, we will seek to provide these products on campus. In the meantime, it’s important that we adapt service delivery to fulfil our mandated responsibilities. Free condom and period product provision is one of the most important functions of the Students’ Union.”
If you are in need of any of the items mentioned in this article, you can avail of this service by emailing UCDSU, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com.