Project "REGELbar" - Free period products at the TU Ilmenau

Since April 2023, the TU Ilmenau has provided free period products on campus. This relieves students and employees in everyday life in an uncomplicated way. Dispensers with tampons and sanitary towels are installed at 6 locations on campus. You can take out what you need.

Menstruation and its associated needs are still a taboo subject. The REGELbar project supports students and employees on site and aims to achieve an open dealing with the topic of menstruation on campus, free of tabus.

Christian Zielonka

Locations of the period product dispensers on the campus of the TU Ilmenau

Humboldtbau Ladies' restroom on the ground floor
University Library Foyer of the toilets on the ground floor
Leonardo-da-Vinci-Bau Ladies' restroom
Campus-Sporthalle Ladies' restroom 3
Mensa (in cooperation with the Studierendenwerk) Ladies' restroom on the ground floor
City campus: Röntgenbau Ladies' restroom in the basement

The dispensers contain tampons and pads from the company Ontex: NAT Tampons normal 100% organic cotton + NAT Ultra pads cotton enhanced towels.

Goals and key messages: Anything but the rule

TU Ilmenau

Background information

The topic of menstruation has been increasingly in the spotlight for several years. May 28 has been recognized worldwide as Menstrual Hygiene Day since 2014. In January 2020, Germany introduced a reduced tax rate on period products, recognizing that period products are part of basic needs. In 2021, Scotland became the first country in the world to provide free period products at schools, universities and public facilities. New Zealand followed suit in summer 2021 and now provides free period products in schools. In Germany, there has not yet been a corresponding legal obligation, but there are more and more local initiatives.

This is also implemented at the TU Ilmenau. The University Health Management and the Equality Council initiated the project in summer 2022. Funds from the Equaly Council were used to finance four dispensers from the company tabi as well as period products for the one-year pilot phase. The dispensers were installed by employees of the Division of Facilities and Operation. The filling is carried out by employees of the operating company. After one year, the experience gained should enable the project to be continued.

Communication concept

At the same time to the application process, students in the Bachelor of Applied Media and Communication Studies developed communication concepts for the donor launch in the seminar Berufsfeldorientierung Public Relations in the winter semester 22/23 under the supervision of Elisabeth Wagner-Olfermann from the IfMK. They worked out target group analyses, drafted communicative guiding ideas and considered core messages as well as measures. The commitment of some students continued beyond the winter semester: Special thanks go to Christian Zielonka, who provided ongoing support in creating the graphic material. Furthermore, our thanks go to the group "Imagegeflüster", who let us use their self-made photos:Jody Büchner, Alina Winter, Natalie Franca Grund, Kimberly Müller, Jana Lydia Regina Ribback and Tammy Estefania Liemich.

Christian Zielonka

REGELbar is a project of the Equaly Council and the University Health Management.

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