This Friday, the Women’s Student Union (WSU), along with several resident assistants, will be holding a “Period Party” in Old Union Hall. The event will be held in order to educate attendees on a range of topics regarding menstrual health and societal taboos on menstruation.

The event will feature multiple stations, each focused on informational topics where attendees can learn about menstruation. Topics will include the history of menstrual products, accessibility of menstrual supplies and inclusivity in menstruation discourse. Sharon Elkouby, senior adviser for WSU and a senior majoring in sociology, wrote that the event will especially focus on concerns about equality, emphasizing that cisgender women are not the only ones who menstruate.

“This event is about expanding how we, as in the mainstream collective, think of periods in order to create a more equitable world for all who menstruate, from taxes to gender inclusion and more,” Elkouby wrote in an email. “Creating a more open dialogue on menstruation will be a major goal of the event.”

Snacks and drinks will be provided for attendees, along with a raffle and a photo booth. In addition to that, WSU will hold a menstrual product drive to benefit Rise, a local shelter that provides services for victims of domestic violence in Broome County. Attendees who donate an unopened box of tampons or pads to the benefit will receive a raffle ticket and be eligible to win prizes.

Elkouby wrote that while the event is free to attend, WSU strongly encourages guests to donate menstrual products, which are donated less frequently than other necessities and are desperately needed by shelters.

“Rise is in high need of menstrual products,” Elkouby wrote. “This event is about collecting as many necessary supplies as possible, not money or fundraising.”

Elkouby wrote that she hopes the event ultimately creates a more open conversation around the topic of menstruation, a topic that is often stigmatized.

“Destigmatizing periods is an important theme for life, not just this event,” Elkouby wrote in an email. “With around half the world population having a period for a good chunk of life, it is entirely detrimental to treat menstruation as taboo. It risks health and self-knowledge not to talk about it.”

WSU’s “Period Party” will be held on Friday, March 8 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m at Old Union Hall in the University Union.