Students across Oxford celebrated the launch of the Oxford Dignity Drive this week, a student-run project that aims to “increase access to sanitary products and feminine hygiene items for homeless people” in the city.
The week-long campaign driven by Dignity Ddrive reps has resulted in students in many colleges donating sanitary products and money towards the project, accompanied by a variety of talks and events that have sought to “raise awareness of this issue and the wider problems facing both homeless people and menstruating people worldwide”.
On Sunday evening, many JCRs passed motions allocating a portion of JCR funds, typically £100, to the Dignity Drive campaign. At least 13 colleges have so far donated to the project.
One of the organisers of the Dignity Drive, Rachel Besenyei, told Cherwell, “As privileged students at an elite university, it’s vital that we look beyond the walls of this institution in our activism. Oxford Dignity Drive has identified a specific problem, and aims to provide sanitary products for homeless people, who often have difficulty accessing them.”
Oxford Asylum Welcome, Oxford Homeless Pathways, Oxfordshire Women’s Aid and The Gatehouse have all expressed their desire to receive donations of sanitary products from colleges.
The campaign week began with an information stall at Wadstock on Saturday 2nd May, and concludes on Friday evening with a screening of the film The Moon Inside You. An open mic night at St Antony’s will also be held on 15th May in aid of the Dignity Drive.
Events over the course of the week have included several talks and panel discussions about the work of the charity Irise International in East Africa, abortion rights in Northern Ireland, period prejudice, and the wider problem of the homelessness crisis in Oxford.