No one willing to part with dollars, tampons

by Jack Sawyers

It was pure comedy to watch the reactions of prospective students and their families as they entered Brenton Student Center last Friday afternoon and found an in-your-face collection of feminine hygiene products.

Somehow, I don’t think Simpson’s administration considered the possible conflict of interests this pairing posed.

Yes, the students looked down sheepishly and the parents exchanged elbow prods and a few whispered comments. There was an obvious tension at the exhibit.

Strangely enough, however, there was little interest in finding out exactly why tampons were being collected in a student common area or what precisely they would be used for.

The two other donation-drive stations, one for the theater and one for Habitat for Humanity’s Project Nepal – which had to resort to selling T-shirts for freewill donations – weren’t attracting many inquiries either.

To put it simply, everyone saw them, but no one donated.

Now I’m never in touch with what women are thinking/feeling/doing, but I know that at least a few of those prospective students and at least a few more of their mothers were carrying at least one spare feminine hygiene product.

I also know all of them – men included – had at least one extra buck in their pockets they could reasonably part with.

I also know the actual Simpson students who walked by the stations could have pitched in.

I know, too, that very few did.

Now, maybe they weren’t ready to have a menstrual issue brought to their attention. Maybe they hate the theater. Maybe they still hold a grudge with Nepal after that unspeakable weekend in Maui.

Maybe the idea of a tampon drive just really sticks in their craw.

If this were the case, there would not be an issue. However, the rejection of drive purposes was not an overt factor in people’s nonparticipation. It was their lack of interest.

Or rather, the general apathy and complacent attitude that seems to ooze from our middle-class pores. We’ve had it too good for too long and no one, me especially, has a grip on what struggling is really about.

In fact, there is something terribly wrong when an entire week’s worth of pledge drives fails miserably, or, at best, attracts only limited attention.

In a college community as affluent as ours, benefactors should be at least as common as people wearing one of those trendy Simpson squirrel shirts.

However, they’re not. For whatever reason, the level of activism and charitable action on this campus is flat lining.

I know things like housing for the poor in Kathmandu or Kotex for the women’s shelter don’t cross your mind on a daily basis, and you may not care.

But there has to be something out there, either in the Indianola or the global community, that you do care about.

Unless of course you’re Ty Cobb – then you don’t give a damn about anyone.

So I pose this challenge to you, Simpson College – find a way to help someone besides yourself on occasion.

Too often we get completely wrapped up in our own important issues to realize that in the whole scheme of life there are plenty more pressing conundrums facing other people all around us.

We’re not too broke to give a dollar. We’re not too busy to give an hour. We’re not too selfish to see things from another perspective.

It’s all about taking a moment to realize it, Simpson, and we’ve got nothing but time.