CNU organizations unite for Sustainable Health Summit & Expo

Take an inside look at what this unique event had to offer

Before coming to the event, I honestly felt tense due to the fact I was planning to attend an event on reproductive health.

I have always felt that my reproductive health was a nature not to be discussed in public due to my upbringing.

Though, when I arrived, the environment was entirely inclusive and judgment-free.

People were smiling and nodding heads left and right.

Everyone was sincerely engaged in conversation no matter which table they were at. 

The Sustainable Health Summit & Expo was put together by CNU’s Sustainability Coordinator, Jen Jones. Jones collaborated with Her Campus, PERIOD. and Planned Parenthood Generation Action to table at the event and help inform the students of CNU on how to be sustainable in regards to their reproductive health.

Each organization had a different purpose at the event. 

In the beginning, each organization had a table or two that informed everyone the purpose of certain sustainable products that we should try to use.

PERIOD. provided free Thinx underwear, which are typically $34+, that can be worn during menstruation for feminine hygiene purposes.

The Office of Sustainability had a display of menstrual cups and the sustainable reasoning for using them.

Additionally, the office had an optional quiz for attendees to take in order to see which cup would be best for their body.

Planned Parenthood Generation Action, and staff from Planned Parenthood, had a wide array of sustainable menstruation and birth control products along with informational posters about each product.

Finally, Her Campus provided information on how women in the community can be involved.

The other section of the event included a questionnaire panel in another room.

The panel was led by Jen Jones, Dr. Danielle Stern, and staff members from Planned Parenthood.

We talked about different birth control sustainability selections, side effects of sustainable birth control (IUDs), gender neutral language when talking about reproductive health, why make the sacrifice for more sustainable birth control products, sanitation with reusable products, affordable and reusable birth control products and so on. 

A conversation that really resonated with me was when Dr. Stern talk about the negative connotation about feminine hygiene and birth control options.

She discussed that we see menstruation as not unclean due to the stigma of a patriarchal society and from that women’s hygiene is devalued.  

The conversation then flowed into personal experiences from students, which really enlightened me on how to cut costs for my reproductive health.

One woman discussed that she was given a free Nexplanon, all because she called her doctor’s office and asked if there was anyone who cancelled their Nexplanon appointment, saving her over $1,000 since she had no insurance.

Another woman stated that when she goes to her local doctor’s office she is able to ask for six months of birth control samples- for free.

By doing this, you can try out birth control options and see what’s best for you.

Overall, the Sustainable Health Summit & Expo was a wonderful event that thoroughly taught me how involved organizations on campus are, how vast the reproductive health industry really is and most importantly, all of the options I can choose from for me.

Birth control is not a one-size fits all.

We’re all different inside and out and deserve the right to choose what’s best for us and the environment, and that’s truly what this event taught me.

~Ashley McMillan, A&E Editor~

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