Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Please take a moment to read our updated TOS, Privacy Policy, and Forum Rules.

Co-ed bathroom in dorms - am I crazy and how can I find out details from schools on our list?

2456714

Replies to: Co-ed bathroom in dorms - am I crazy and how can I find out details from schools on our list?

  • Sue22Sue22 Registered User Posts: 4,427 Senior Member
    Given the choice of walking 2 doors from a coed bathroom in their towel or walking the length of the hall from a single sex one many, if not most, kids choose the former.
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 16,897 Senior Member
    edited September 29
    Believe it or not, turn-taking is a pretty common strategy for adapting to co-ed bathrooms.

    Your kids would be respectful of other people's desire for privacy and modesty, right? Wouldn't you expect most of their peers to behave the same way?
  • CorinthianCorinthian Registered User Posts: 1,361 Senior Member
    I have a D who is a junior at a LAC, and she has been in a different dorm every year. In both her freshman and sophomore dorms, the bathrooms were smaller and there were more of them, but they could theoretically accommodate 2-3 students at once. Students quickly fell into a pattern of "taking turns" or just walking down the hall to another bathroom if the closet one was occupied. They were marked with handwritten signs designating them gender inclusive.

    This year she is in a dorm built in 1958 where there are 2 "wings" coming off a central lounge. Each wing has one bathroom set up to accommodate more students at once, with about 6 sinks and 6 showers. Presumably the dorm was originally single sex or at least had single sex corridors. Now one bathroom is designated for those identifying as female and one for those identifying as male. She is at the far end of her hall so she has to cross the hall and lounge every time she wants to use the "female" bathroom in the other wing. The "turn taking" strategy described by @JHS worked well in her freshman and sophomore dorms but wouldn't work well in the current one. But as @Sue22 says, she would prefer to have a closer bathroom where students can take turns.

    She considers this all no big deal, and is far more concerned about the lack of air conditioning in these old dorms.
  • BuckeyeMWDSGBuckeyeMWDSG Registered User Posts: 352 Member
    edited September 29
    Sometimes the co-ed bathrooms offer more privacy. For instance the kind that has a single shower, dressing area, sink and toilet with door lock like you'd find in a home that opens onto a hallway. There are usually several of these per floor and either gender can use and offers total privacy for the individual.
  • NJWrestlingmomNJWrestlingmom Registered User Posts: 241 Junior Member
    The new dorm at Rowan in Nj was designed to be co-ed, so there is more privacy provided since it was built with that in mind. Each shower has a locking door and a separate area where you can change after/before showering. Still, my son wasn’t a fan. He stayed there for orientation and didn’t shower!! Luckily it was only 1 night! He ended up getting an older dorm that is single gender suites and he’s more comfortable with that, although i’m Sure he would have adjusted if he had the new dorm. After record breaking September heat, he probably wishes he was in the new dorm with AC!
  • tutumom2001tutumom2001 Registered User Posts: 528 Member
    edited September 29
    I'm not sure how common it is, but I believe that this is something that needs to be sorted out BEFORE the kids choose their dorms and not after everyone has moved in. That way, the kids have a say in their preferences. A majority-rules vote could mean that 26 out of 50 kids on the floor want one thing, which means that a substantial majority are not OK with it. And the flip side is that if you have an "all or nothing" vote that 48 kids who want one thing then must go along with two who don't. Neither way is particularly fair.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 62,176 Senior Member
    Even back in the 1980s, there were coed bathrooms.

    I remember that the coed dorms commonly had coed floors with the option to select a single gender floor. It was disclosed beforehand that the coed floors had coed bathrooms (presumably because the dorms were built with one bathroom per floor before they were coed). Most students chose coed anyway.

    However, it seems that the more recent trend in new dorm construction is suite dorms, where a single gender suite has its own bathroom. Gang bathrooms seem to be less preferred, regardless of whether they are coed or single gender.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 62,176 Senior Member
    Sometimes the co-ed bathrooms offer more privacy. For instance the kind that has a single shower, dressing area, sink and toilet with door lock like you'd find in a home that opens onto a hallway. There are usually several of these per floor and either gender can use and offers total privacy for the individual.

    Single user bathrooms are probably generally preferred by students over gang bathrooms (but how common is it to have a non-suite dorm with single user bathrooms?). There is also no reason to make them gendered, since those who have concerns about sharing a gang bathroom with those of the other (or same) gender will not encounter that with single user bathrooms.
  • ConsolationConsolation Registered User Posts: 21,489 Senior Member
    I must say that I do think that shower enclosures of the type that have a small exterior dressing area ought to have a solid exterior door that actually closes. The kind one finds on a toilet stall is fine. No one who wants privacy is going to feel comfortable where there is only the typical skimpy shower curtain blowing around.
  • bodanglesbodangles Registered User Posts: 8,066 Senior Member
    but how common is it to have a non-suite dorm with single user bathrooms?

    My campus has renovated all of the bathrooms in my current building to this style. The floor I live on has four bathrooms with showers, one bathroom without a shower, and two extra sinks. Presumably the other side of the floor has the same, and then doubled again for the other wing of the building.
  • CorinthianCorinthian Registered User Posts: 1,361 Senior Member
    In terms of sorting this out ahead of time, if this is a deal breaker for someone then they're probably better off at a school with only one style of dorm floor plan, or a big school that allows you more input on housing selection. At my D's LAC, freshman can indicate some preferences but there are no guarantees, and after freshman year it is a lottery based system, so sophomores are the least likely to get what they want. And the dorms vary in age and degree to which they've been renovated and floor plan. But I also agree with those who say that students are adaptable and this is more of an issue for the parents than the students.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 29,489 Senior Member
    Another, this has been going on a long, long time. All the bathrooms were coed where I went to school back in 1974. I don't think any of them had urinals. (I lived in the part that had been a women's college and then later into suites with private bathrooms.) As long as there are doors on the toilets and curtains or doors on the showers I don't consider it a big deal.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 24,191 Senior Member
    At points, my kids lived with coed bathrooms, none in the larger, multi-person style. These had bathroom door locks and all the kids were mindful that they couldn't hog their time in there.

    For some kids, the first issue is really coed floors. And for some even showering when the same gender is present is an issue. Agree, you think about it, inquire, then decide. Frankly, guys wear less than a towel when at the pool.
Sign In or Register to comment.