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

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

  • ccprofandmomof2ccprofandmomof2 519 replies9 threads Member
    Hi, I get that it works for most people, but do you think this may be a factor in the rise of anxiety on campus? I mean, if you don't even feel like you can relax in the bathroom (particularly for girls who are modest) where can you relax?
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  • citivascitivas 655 replies20 threads Member
    This has all been going on for many decades, it's just getting more common. I recall back in the '80's and '90's some colleges had no-stall coed showers. Private stalls were just coming into vogue as a perk for newer bathrooms, but the old "gym" (or now maybe prison) setup of a wall with a bunch of shower heads was more common and some places made them coed. Some schools gave students a choice of open coed or private stalls depending on which wing or floor you went to but it was a badge of honor for many to prove they were comfortable in the coed showers.

    Gender neutral bathrooms are the trend now. We've seen them at more and more of the schools we've toured and it's starting to show up in the workplace here in NYC, SF and LA as well -- could be elsewhere but those are the markets I'm the most familiar with.
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  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes 34229 replies771 threads Senior Member
  • tutumom2001tutumom2001 1218 replies3 threads Senior Member
    @ccprofandmomof2 I doubt it. Even back in the olden days of single-sex dorms, male visitors were still in the bathrooms. Personally, I think the rise of anxiety on campus has more to do with increased expectations of perfection. But that's a topic for another thread.
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  • HarvestMoon1HarvestMoon1 6200 replies28 threads Senior Member
    edited October 2017
    But going back to the point that numerous posters have made throughout this thread --- if it causes you anxiety to be in a coed dorm or floor then there are options at almost every school to suit your needs and preferences. This coed bathroom thing is really a non-issue. You don't have to be in a coed living situation if you don't want to be.
    edited October 2017
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  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes 34229 replies771 threads Senior Member
    edited October 2017
    Sorry was on mobile where it's hard to type. Let me expand on my "no."

    The vast majority of students do not have co-ed bathrooms. Of those who do, most get used to it within a day or two.

    If you're a "[woman] who is modest" you can always get dressed in the shower stall and just not look at other people who happen to be in the bathroom. There, all fixed.

    There are a lot of reasons that students have higher anxiety now. One is that we've gotten better about recognizing and addressing anxiety. Two is (IMO) the extreme helicoptering of parents that happens now more than even a few years ago when I was an undergrad. Three is that there's way more pressure to graduate with a high GPA now as opposed to "just" a degree. The list goes on but you get the idea.

    The idea that anxiety rates have skyrocketed due to a handful of women being uncomfortable with their co-ed bathroom is laughable.
    edited October 2017
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 13238 replies247 threads Senior Member
    I went to college in the mid-80s and my own dorm was definitely coed by room, and I lucked out as it was a very sought after dorm. There was a women-only dorm available, but my college had been a Seven Sister before going coed, so that made sense. There was no men's-only dorm, but there were some dorms with floors/wings for each gender.

    My kid's college floor has gender neutral bathrooms (usually just one shower, toilet and sink tho) and "gang" bathrooms which are gender specific. At least in the 3 of her dorms I have seen there. They recently put "gender neutral" signs on all single bathrooms throughout campus (academic, theater, etc) to make it clear that anyone could use any one of them.

    I think this is the type of thing that student governments, residential life offices and individual floors/wings decide on, and that is, IMO, as it should be.
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  • alhalh 8979 replies49 threads Senior Member
    I hope we have settled for the OP this really isn't going to be a problem. There will be options.

    For those who seem to me to view it as a college culture war of some sort, there were coed bathroom options at my southern state flagship in 1974. It was not a new thing that year and I can't remember anyone ever calling my college progressive or liberal. I am sure coed bathrooms predate the mid-70s. This is not a new phenomenon. It's been going on 42 to 45 years at least. It may not be a part of campus culture you care for, but it seems to me pretty common and traditional campus culture by this point in time, even if you don't find coed bathrooms at all colleges.

    I have no strong feelings one way or another about coed bathrooms. These days misinformation does bother me.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 26932 replies270 threads Senior Member
    "Females who had an ID to swipe into the bathroom"

    Interesting. I've never heard of that before but my kids went to small schools. I don't think they would have been keen on carrying the ID with them everywhere.

    "I'm stunned by how many colleges require students to keep the doors to their rooms shut at all times - even when they're inside and just seated at their desks."

    My understanding is this can be due to local fire codes, at least it was at one school I know of.
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  • JHSJHS 18503 replies72 threads Senior Member
    That's sort of sad to think of. My daughter spent her freshman year on a little hallway where there were five singles (and one single-user bathroom designated for women; men had to walk through a common area to another little hallway off of it). Anyway, when my daughter and the woman across the hall from her had their doors open, they were roommates; when they closed their doors they had privacy. The doors were open more than they were closed. The friendship didn't last much beyond that year, but it would have been a lot more lonely for both of them if the doors couldn't be left open.
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  • bookwormbookworm 9347 replies75 threads Senior Member
    My son's House was one of the few not yet remodeled. Even so, not far from the coed bath, there was a single bathroom. He nonchalantly showed it to me when I was visiting, so I would be comfortable, and probably make the other students more comfortable. My son had his own bathroom at home, but he seemed to adjust.
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  • nw2thisnw2this 2567 replies76 threads Senior Member
    I toured them and the shower stalls OP was referring to were not very private. As an adult female, I wouldn't shower next to my brother in them.
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  • musicmeritmusicmerit 1030 replies217 threads Senior Member
    Apparently not all universities implement the policies as stated.

    "Administrators won’t enforce the results of floor-by-floor elections to determine whether dorm bathrooms will remain gendered, leaving students uncertain about which restrooms are gender-neutral.

    Administrators instructed resident advisers to hold elections at the start of the fall semester in select residence halls—Broadway, Schapiro, Wien, Carlton Arms, Harmony, and most floors in Furnald. Advocates have pressed for an alternative to gendered bathrooms for trans and gender-nonconforming students, while some students have voiced concerns about gender-neutral bathrooms on the basis of religion.

    Director of Residential Life Tara Hanna said that administrators decided not to enforce the results of elections following pushback from some students. She added that Residential Life is looking to create a new model for implementing this policy in the future."

    http://columbiaspectator.com/news/2017/10/19/administrators-decline-to-enforce-results-of-gender-neutral-bathroom-elections/
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 84654 replies752 threads Senior Member
    edited October 2017
    The election by floor after move in seems to be the worst way to handle student preferences in this matter.

    Why would colleges do this instead of asking student preference before room assignment and assigning rooms accordingly?
    edited October 2017
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  • doschicosdoschicos 26932 replies270 threads Senior Member
    What if someone's preference changes after the form is sent in? What if mom fills out the form and sends it in?
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  • tutumom2001tutumom2001 1218 replies3 threads Senior Member
    "What if someone's preference changes after the form is sent in? What if mom fills out the form and sends it in?"

    Then you deal with the choice you made.
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  • JHSJHS 18503 replies72 threads Senior Member
    Why would colleges do this instead of asking student preference before room assignment and assigning rooms accordingly?

    Because there are dozens of other, more important variables that go into room assignments, and it's a tremendous PITA to try to solve for the optimal solution for all of them, and the last thing they need is another key variable to solve for, and there's no guarantee that preferences will magically match up with available physical plant? And because experience shows that few if any students care after a week or so?
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  • coolguy40coolguy40 3027 replies8 threads Senior Member
    You're not the only one uncomfortable. If that were my daughter, I would tell her a big fat NO to that school. Fortunately, those kinds of dorms seem to be the exception rather than the rule. Most schools have alternating men/women on each floor, so bathrooms are not shared by the opposite sex.
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  • VeryapparentVeryapparent 893 replies16 threads Member
    We had a coed bathroom in my dorm in 1983 believe it or not.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 26932 replies270 threads Senior Member
    "Most schools have alternating men/women on each floor, so bathrooms are not shared by the opposite sex."

    I don't really think one can say "most schools". Like the poster above, my college had coed bathrooms back in the 80s. Touring around 30 colleges between my kids, most have coed bathrooms today.
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