Bathroom Fun!

 Posted by on 5 October 2005 at 9:27 pm  Uncategorized
Oct 052005

I recently received this forwarded announcement from one of our department secretaries. Hellems is the building of the philosophy department, as well as of various other humanities departments.

Before I complete the work order to convert the 1st floor private Men’s room in Hellems to a unisex room could you let the occupants know that this conversion is about to take place.

The reasons for the change is based on a survey done last AY that determined there was a need to have at least 1 unisex restroom in the important classroom buildings to accommodate families, persons with disabilities, and transgender individuals.

Please see the guide of the campus unisex restrooms that we have recently posted to our web site.

Let me know of there is a problem, otherwise we will go forward with this project. The VC for Administration will handle the cost.

Let me put the announcement in its proper context. First, given the near-universality of bathrooms for just men and just women in this country, accommodating families is hardly some pressing concern. Parents are more than used to coping with bathrooms divided by sex. Second, the first floor of Hellems already has handicapped stalls in both the mens’ and womens’ bathrooms. So this new bathroom is not needed to serve “persons with disabilities” either. Consequently, I can only conclude that the real purpose is to “accommodate… transgender individuals.” Is that really a problem? Even if so, is it a problem worthy of renovation by a cash-strapped university?

Notably, according to the Excel file attached to the e-mail, Boulder has 125 other unisex bathrooms on its campus. (In some cases, those restrooms might be the only bathrooms that can accommodate wheelchairs. Although I oppose the ADA, those may be entirely proper ways to accommodate students, faculty, and staff in wheelchairs — if and when they exist.)

Moreover, the unisex bathroom is to be renovated even while the stalls in the sole and often-crowded women’s restroom of Hellems often lack locks for the doors and hooks for backpacks, if not the doors themselves.

But hey, maybe I can go use that fancy new private unisex bathroom instead of enduring that unpleasantness!

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