By Kaleigh Grace
A new project that will benefit Lewis and Clark Community College students will soon be opening across campus. The initiative, deemed the SGA Hygiene Closet, was created by the Student Government Association and will serve to supply LC students in need with a range of hygiene and health-related products. The Hygiene Closet hopes to provide for a range of students, whether they are an individual who happened to forget a tampon or someone that is struggling financially and requires access to products like shampoo and deodorant.
Student Activities President Jenna Shelton, who has been a leader throughout the initiative, firmly believes hygiene and basic health should never be an obstacle in education, and students deserve to learn without worrying about such basic needs being met.
Jenna helped found the concept in 2019, along with SGA President, Ashtyn Britt. The initial goal was to provide students with menstrual products, but upon the recommendation of other students on the SGA board, the idea was expanded to be more inclusive and benefit all LC students. From there, the SGA Hygiene Closet was born and scheduled to launch in 2020. The abrupt shutdown related to COVID-19 halted further progress though and plans had to be placed on pause.
Moving into the Fall 2020 semester, the project started gaining momentum once again, thanks to a collaborative effort of various organizations and donations from local businesses. Jenna, along with her sister, who is an avid couponer, has worked to collect a majority of products for the closet including soaps, deodorant, laundry detergent, chapstick, wet wipes, paper towels and more.
Everything collected and donated will be available to students through Lewis and Clark in a collaborative space with the Trailblazer Snack Pantry at Templin Nursing Building and Reid Memorial library on campus as well as the Scott Bibb location in Alton.
For discretion, all hygiene products are provided in premade bags that won’t disclose the contents. Using color-coated stickers, students will be able to request the color that correlates with their needs, whether that be menstrual and hygiene products or sexual health-related items.
One of the SGA Hygiene Closet’s goals is to be as inclusive as possible to all students, regardless of gender identity or financial status. The project has taken extra steps to ensure transgender students will be able to have access to the products which suit their needs, and larger kits will be available to students who are especially struggling financially and need a range of items. The Hygiene closet is also working on a form that will allow students to request specific products be added to accommodate for allergies and sensitivities.
Donations for the SGA Hygiene Closet are currently being accepted at the main campus security building at Lewis and Clark Community College. A drive will also be held at Lewis and Clark starting now until the week of April 12 in collaboration with LC Cares to collect more items. All hygiene and home products are welcome except razors and medication; products must be new, unused and in original packaging. For any further questions, students can reach out to the Student Government Association and Jenna Shelton by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 618-979-1537.