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


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

  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 13238 replies247 threads Senior Member
    @coolguy40 they seem pretty common now. And alternating gender floors aren't too common either, form the visits I've done anyway and reports here.

    Like @Veryapparent my dorm in that same time period was coed by room.
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  • citivascitivas 655 replies20 threads Member
    I've done about two dozen tours in the last 3 years and I can't think of one that had co-ed toilet rooms in the dorms. So So while I am sure there are many, I would doubt "most" are fully coed single-rooms yet. Every one of those dorms was coed on the floor and many even allowed coed within a room (though it apparently was uncommon people picked this). Shared (as in used by one person at a time, but of either gender) shower rooms were pretty common. And true "gender neutral" coed bathrooms were very common elsewhere on the campus, they just hadn't made their way to the dorms yet. That said, I'm sure they are a hot trend and that schools have started rapidly converting. We're experiencing this in the workplace too -- a rush to re-define bathrooms as gender neutral so as not to "discriminate" against someone who does not identify with either gender role.

    Still, most of these "coed" bathrooms are nothing like the experiments I saw at colleges in the '80's since most colleges have nice single-user private shower stalls or rooms now. Back then coed meant old locker room style open rooms with a bunch of shower heads along the wall and it was one big coed party.
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  • MinnesotaDadof3MinnesotaDadof3 364 replies21 threads Member
    edited January 2018
    Students on my floor of the multi-class, co-ed dorm during my freshman year voted to make all our bathrooms co-ed so no one had to walk far. This was in 1974-75. Not having grown up with any sisters, I soon discovered that women looked no more glamorous (maybe worse) in the morning than us guys did. I'm convinced the co-ed bathrooms had a seriously dampening affect on the sparking of any romances among floor residents. We became brothers and sisters and acted accordingly.

    Bathrooms during my remaining three years were sex-segregated.
    edited January 2018
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  • Ballerina016Ballerina016 1622 replies69 threads Senior Member
    It is more common then you think. It is a personal choice, of course, but my DD lives in a coed suite and I don’t spend much time worrying about bathrooms.
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  • carbmomcarbmom 37 replies12 threads Junior Member
    Wow, this thread I started almost four months ago is back on first page again! Thanks to everyone who have shared your opinions and experiences. I am re-visiting this issue again because my daughter was accepted EA to MIT last month, where I first saw this co-ed communal bathroom. All the friends I talked to and parents of my daughter's friends, all seem to be appalled by what I described. Many of them took out their notebook or phone to put down this as a question to ask when they make their school choice decision lol.

    I'm still investigating the issue, planning to call MIT residential services about the exact policy and process on how each dorm/floor determine this. I plan to do the same to all the other schools on her final list.

    @Ballerina016 would you share some more info about how the co-ed suite works? MIT has a few dorms with that setup. I really can't imagine how that works. DD spend some weekends at home without changing out of her pajamas all day. She is also not the tidiest person, sometimes leave her undergarments on the bathroom floor. How do college suitemates deal with things like these?
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 2352 replies19 threads Senior Member
    I remember visiting a friend years ago at Tufts and being shocked. I wouldn’t be comfortable with that and don’t know if my kids would either.
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  • Ballerina016Ballerina016 1622 replies69 threads Senior Member
    @carbmom Congratulation to your DD and welcome to MIT family! Please PM me with any questions about MIT and specific dorms. I was as unfamiliar with coed living as you were so I can relate.
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  • blossomblossom 10551 replies9 threads Senior Member
    Carbmom, McCormick Hall at MIT is all female.

    Problem solved. You are literally worried for nothing- I have never heard of a woman who wanted to live in McCormick who did not get a room there.
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  • carbmomcarbmom 37 replies12 threads Junior Member
    @suzy100 of course this isn't the most major issue, but it might tip the scale under certain circumstances. For instance, if she gets RD offers with large merit from other top 15 schools with Ac'd dorms and private baths... A parent can dream big too, right?

    @blossom My daughter did a shadow last September and her host (a senior) lived in McCormick all four years. She told us they have co-ed bathrooms in McCormick too (also voted by residents on the floor), because "some residents may have boyfriend that stays overnight and doesn't want to go down to the men's room on first floor". That's why I plan to ask school residential services what the policy and process is, maybe not all the rules are followed, or maybe school allows students to make their own rules.
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  • SouthernHopeSouthernHope 2134 replies217 threads Senior Member
    i actually don't think this is the norm (though i'm not quite sure how to look this up)....but in my 20+ plus tours with 2 kids, I just don't remember seeing this. What I did see was mixed floors with private bathrooms (per dorm room) and coed dorms but floors divided by gender.
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  • bookwormbookworm 9347 replies75 threads Senior Member
    OP! You can post your question on the MIT forum. Better yet, your DD can join the FB group and ask this question.

    My son is an "only" and never had a sister, but he adapted to the bathroom situation. He wore a robe for the first time.
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  • millie210millie210 524 replies24 threads Member
    @carbmom, what exactly is it that you’re worried about? That a boy will see your daughter's underwear? That a boy will see your daughter in her underwear or less? That she'll see more male anatomy than she wants to or that you approve of? That hearing or being heard by a boy in the next bathroom stall will somehow be traumatic? That knowing there’s a boy in the next shower stall will ruin her life?

    Now, I went to Wesleyan, a school particularly known for treating students as adults and letting them make their own decisions, so maybe my views are a little skewed. But the notion that you’re going to call schools and ask them what the bathroom rules are and how they enforce them seems a little unrealistic unless we’re talking about BYU or Oral Roberts or something like that. Chances are, students make their own rules and work things out themselves, knowing they all have to live with each other.

    My sophomore year in college I lived in a co-ed wood frame house with 7 people and one communal bathroom. We had two toilet stalls, two urinals behind a curtain for privacy and 2 shower stalls arranged so that a person could have privacy both in the shower and right after stepping out, so it was possible to dry off or put on a towel without being seen by other people. I grew up with a brother, but the bathroom at home was the usual one person at a time, so this was the first time I was brushing my teeth with a guy at the next sink, using the toilet with a guy in the room (but not in the stall, obviously!) or taking a shower with a guy in the room or in the other shower stall. It was kind of weird for about week or so, then it was just life. People covered up enough so that everyone was comfortable. It was just no big deal.
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  • yourmommayourmomma 1323 replies1 threads Senior Member
    Time out. I just skimmed a bit of this thread. But are we talking about co-ed single bathrooms -- i.e.; sink, shower & toilet in a small private room behind a locked door? Or are we talking about the old fashioned 12 sinks, 12 showers, and 12 toilets (i.e.; a locker room) shared by all who enter? I could see the co-ed private bathrooms, but the larger locker room style would be quite a trip.
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  • carbmomcarbmom 37 replies12 threads Junior Member
    @yourmomma I wouldn't fuss about a co-ed single user bathroom. The one I saw is multi-user, three small shower stalls side by side with just a curtain covering the front. And you can have this in a women's only dorm too.

    @millie210 the scenario I'm concerned about is DD stepping out of the shower in a towel with some guy one foot away from her fresh out of the shower too. She doesn't allow her little brother or even her parents into the bathroom when she's showering behind the curtain now. The reason I want to call the school about their policy is to find out how exactly they determine this, is it open or anonymous voting, does it require simple majority, super majority or unanimous decision. I want to be sure that she has a choice. Is this unreasonable?
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  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys 16651 replies66 threads Senior Member
    I don’t see any problem with both mom and D having a conversation about this. At the aquatic center I go to it is the young girls that dive into the private compartments not us oldies who grew up with gang showers in high school and have given birth which is not exactly a private experience and that is not s coed environment. Modesty and privacy about ones bathroom habits should not be taken lightly. You can go along with something and still never feel comfortable with it.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 41662 replies7999 threads Super Moderator
    Time out. I just skimmed a bit of this thread. But are we talking about co-ed single bathrooms -- i.e.; sink, shower & toilet in a small private room behind a locked door? Or are we talking about the old fashioned 12 sinks, 12 showers, and 12 toilets
    Both types exist. Although the multi-user type tend to be 4-6 stalls, not 12. And the shower stalls are individual with curtains or doors, not the junior high gym showers of yore.
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