Dispensing nothing but frustration

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By Kiera Toffelmire

Ashleigh Jack was five minutes away from a midterm exam when she got her period. Unprepared, the second-year nursing student raced to a second-floor washroom in Kerr Hall South only to find an empty pad and tampon dispenser. Without time to run to a drugstore, Jack had to use an uncomfortable supplement – toilet paper.

Low-stocked pad and tampon dispensers across campus have stolen some women’s change and left other students in a panic. In protest, the Women’s Centre launched a poster campaign pushing campus planning and facilities, the department in charge of the dispensers, to restock the machines more often. The poster features an empty dispenser and the number for campus planning.

“We want campus planning to react and act,” said Ashley Matthew of the Women’s Centre. “Supplying students with sanitary supplies is a necessity.”

Campus planning pays Cannon Hygene, which owns the dispensers, approximately $10 a month to restock each machine, said Cannon Hygene representative Paula Robertson.

The company offers alternative restocking periods once every seven days or once every 15 days.

But custodial service manager Adrian Williams, who is the person in contact with Cannon Hygene, has chosen to stick with the once a month option.

Though Robertson said Williams has not put in any complaints or reports about the dispensers for more than a year, the Women’s Centre said some machines have been robbing students of their money.

Sarah Muzar, a second-year business management student has had her money eaten by one of the dispensers.

“It’s an inconvenience. The school is getting my money and didn’t even provide me with the service it claims to. I had to run to the grocery store and spend five bucks on a whole box,” said Muzar.

Matthew said campus planning is not taking into consideration the number of women at Ryerson.

“Restocking on a bi-monthly-basis is more realistic,” she said.

Williams made himself unavailable for comment and no one else in campus planning would say how many dispensers are on campus.


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