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The “PeriodUP” project

As the first university in Brandenburg, the University of Potsdam provides period products free of charge for its university staff and guests. In doing so, it wants to make necessary hygiene products accessible to all and contribute to the removal of taboos surrounding menstruation. In addition, it is a disadvantage compensation for those who are socially disadvantaged due to their physical characteristics.

In a two-year pilot project, suitable dispensers with the period products most commonly used in Germany - tampons and pads - will be installed in 20 selected restrooms on the three campuses at Am Neuen Palais, Golm and Griebnitzsee. These are regularly filled by the respective cleaning staff. In the first year, the costs for filling and cleaning are borne in equal parts by the university administration and the student parliament. The Equal Opportunity Coordination Office is responsible for purchasing the dispensers. After one year, the results of an accompanying survey will be evaluated and used to further develop the project.


The initiative forthe free provision of period products at the University of Potsdam came from the Student Council for Math and Physics. A working group consisting of students, the Equal Opportunity Coordination Office, and the university administration took on the task of organizing the project.

Free period products enable participation

Menstruation is still a big taboo subject - yet it affects about half of the world’s population. A large proportion of the members of the University of Potsdam also menstruate. For them, the use of period products during menstruation is just as ubiquitous as the use of toilet paper or soap. Nevertheless, menstruating individuals must pay for their own supplies.

For menstruating people, purchasing these products every month is an additional cost and not everyone can afford them. There are some affected by the much-discussed “period poverty.” This is especially a problem for students with low incomes. As a result, those affected may resort to unhygienic alternatives such as toilet paper or cloth scraps, or even stay away from the university.

Not all menstruating individuals have a regular cycle. If menstruation occurs suddenly and unexpectedly, shameful situations, such as bloody pants or asking for a tampon, can arise. It is not uncommon for menstruating individuals to go home or to a nearby store to obtain the necessary hygiene product.

Access to free period products enables participation and leads to a work-study friendly atmosphere where students and employees can focus on their studies or work with a sense of security.

With PeriodUP, we want to make menstruation visible and contribute to its social normalization. We hope that this will initiate a discussion at the University of Potsdam about menstruation and what it means for the majority of university members in their study and work environment.

There are free period products in these restrooms

Do you have any questions or suggestions about PeriodUP? You want to leave us feedback? Then feel free to send us a message to gba-teamuni-potsdamde. We look forward to hearing from you!