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UCD Library's tackling of period poverty celebrated at 2022 UCD Values in Action Awards

Posted 22 December 2022

For helping to provide free sanitary products in a bid to tackle period poverty, the UCD Library has been recognised at the 2022 UCD Values in Action (VIA) Awards.

Using dispensers in the James Joyce Library located in the women’s, men’s and unisex/wheelchair accessible toilets, the library's Period Poverty Team made pads and tampons available to any student who could not afford to buy adequate supplies.

A 2021 international study found that almost half of Irish women under 19-years-of-age found it difficult to pay for sanitary products, with 10% reporting they’d been forced to use a “less suitable sanitary product” due to the monthly costs.

The Period Poverty initiative was a collaboration between the UCD Library, (opens in a new window)Professor Jason Last, UCD Dean of Students, and (opens in a new window)UCD Students’ Union, which provided the period products and who has long provided free sanitary products to students.

The pilot project acted as a 'proof of concept' for a wider roll-out across UCD, and the UCD Library continues to offer free period products as part of their suite of onsite service provision for all students and staff.

In receiving the award, the UCD Library Period Poverty Team were noted for upholding the value UCD places on engagement, excellence, creativity and diversity.

“Some recipients put our values into action here on campus, making UCD an environment where students and colleagues feel supported and cared for,” said (opens in a new window)Professor Mark Rogers, Acting President.

“Other have taken their expertise to communities well beyond UCD, linking their work in a direct manner to people in the place that they live.”

Adding: “The Values in Action Awards give us an opportunity of publicly acknowledge a group of people who have been chosen by their peers. Our University values of excellence, creativity, integrity, collegiality, engagement and diversity, provide us with a canvass on which we draw our contribution to the University community and to the wider society.”

The worthy recipients of the 2022 UCD VIA Awards were, in no specific order:

  • Vanessa Buckley, Lorna Dodd, Mark Jenkins, David Larkin, Fanchea Rooney, Catherine Bodey - Library Period Poverty Team
  • Aishling Kennedy-Dalton, Daniel Earls, Jacinta Egan - UCD Estate Services
  • Assoc. Prof. Conor Buggy, Prof. Cormac Taylor, Dr Fahie, Dr Eoin Cummins, Dr Joan Simon, Joanna Long, Dr Katherine Fama, Katherine Mulfaul, Dr Letizia Vettor, Marie-Louise Ryan, Ruth Harrison – Dignity & Respect Support Colleagues

Individual awards were presented to:

  • Arnaud Disant, UCD School of Mathematics and Statistics.
  • Dr Rachel Farrell, UCD School of Education.
  • Anne Griffin, UCD Library Collection Services.
  • Dr Locksley Messam, UCD School of Veterinary Medicine.
  • Dr Paul Perry, UCD School of English, Drama and Film.
  • Derek Reilly, UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering.
  • Eimear Ryan, Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research.

Now in their fifth year, the VIA awards celebrate individuals or teams who through their daily work or volunteering efforts act as ambassadors for UCD and the its shared values of Collegiality, Creativity, Diversity, Engagement, Excellence and Integrity. The awards were established by the Employee Engagement Network.

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations