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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?

  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 20,404 Senior Member
    edited January 2018
    I've mentioned this previously in the early pages of this thread, but at the schools we toured, mainly LACs, that had coed bathrooms, the procedure was that students vote via secret ballot and any one voice voting nay to coed bathrooms meant the bathrooms weren't coed or there was at least an option of some not being coed. Therefore, no one was forced into it against there will or because they were outvoted or afraid to speak up. It was often mentioned that frequently when students voted again at the beginning of the next semester, all the votes were yes votes and those that might have had an issue about it at the beginning of the school year became comfortable with it a semester later.
  • citivascitivas Registered User Posts: 655 Member
    edited January 2018
    The tyranny of the majority... But meh. Walking to another building is not the end of the world, particularly in Claremont where winter is like spring and fall back east. And I suspect what they really meant was different wing since many of the dorms there have multiple wings. When I was in college my particular dorm still had group showers with no stalls. I walked to a different wing and floor where they had upgraded to stalls with curtains. I lived. I wasn't scarred for life. These are college kids -- it wouldn't do them harm to have a little hardship and trade offs they have the deal with. They could be living with 5 strange roommates in a roach infested walk-up and a tiny communal bathroom that doesn't work half the time when they graduate (for those who actually go out on their own and not home).
  • ccprofandmomof2ccprofandmomof2 Registered User Posts: 482 Member
    I think the issue is a feeling a security from voyeurism, groping and assault. Here's one UCB article that shows it happens: http://www.dailycal.org/2014/05/13/uc-berkeley-student-arrested-alleged-voyeurism-residence-hall-showers/

    And the Crimson staff seems to agree: http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2011/2/11/bathrooms-genderneutral-harvard-harassment/

    81% of sexual assaults on campus are reportedly happening in dorms: http://law.gsu.edu/2016/04/06/schools-dont-tell-campus-sexual-assault/

    And on how much it stinks to not be able to go pee when you need to because you fear for your safety: https://thetab.com/us/ohio-state/2016/02/13/almost-eleventh-floor-experience-sexual-assault-658

    Look, these are just a few little articles that I found after one minute of googling, and I'm sure I'm going to get pounced on here for this. I don't support intellectual "safe spaces" and I believe in free speech. But I think it's supremely naive to think that it's all cool and good and everyone will just treat each other like brothers and sisters in the dorm. I would feel super uncomfortable showering knowing a group of men were standing outside the door. I imagine anyone who has been raped previously would be really uncomfortable about that as well. I'm sure you all will jump all over me for this, but to me it's not a matter of cleanliness but safety. It would make my daughter and me both quite nervous to feel so vulnerable, and to have to do that on a daily basis would really suck. And I grew up with brothers, and have a son. I'm glad to hear that most schools put this to a vote, and that the majority can't override the minority!
  • ConsolationConsolation Registered User Posts: 23,020 Senior Member
    @nostalgicwisdom , thanks for the info. It did seem very un-Pomona-like to me!

    @citivas I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. I do NOT think that it is a minor thing for kids to have to go to another building to use a bathroom in comfort when there are plenty available in their own dorm, and the OP of that thread said "building" not "wing," so you don't get to change it because it suits your views. I am almost 100% certain that you wouldn't be so happy about it if it were girls who were cast out of their own dorm because they felt uncomfortable being needlessly forced to use bathrooms with men in them.
  • Sue22Sue22 Registered User Posts: 6,152 Senior Member
    @ccprofandmomof2, I don't want to jump on you, but I think the evidence you've provided, with the exception of the UCB piece, is weak. Granted, there were incidents of a student at UCB recording women in the shower. That's clearly awful, but I'm not seeing evidence of a lot of other incidents. The other links you posted were to a seven year old editorial positing that non-gendered bathrooms might be a problem should they be installed at Harvard, a statistic about campus assaults that has nothing to do with gendered or non-gendered bathrooms, and an article that really has nothing to do with bathrooms at all. The girl in question wrote about being harassed by a drunk man on her way from the elevator to her dorm room.

    I googled "woman assaulted in college bathroom." The first 5 stories were:

    1. Riverside college student attacked in restroom, wields pencil - ...The student was washing her hands in a women's restroom in the Math/Science building when she looked behind her and saw the man,...

    2. Woman claims sexual assault at knife-point in hiking trail bathroom ...
    (no mention of whether the bathrooms are gendered or not)

    3. Campus security at Los Medanos College say a man wearing a black hoodie, black leather gloves and a bandana covering his most of his face sexually assaulted a woman in a bathroom Thursday night....The assault took place shortly after 9 p.m. in a women’s bathroom of the Main College Complex building, spokesman Tim Leong said.

    4. Police are asking for help identifying a woman wanted in connection with the assault and robbery of another woman in a San Joaquin Delta College bathroom...Police say a woman suspect entered the Holt building’s first floor woman’s restroom on the San Joaquin Delta College campus and slammed a victim against the wall.

    5. The Orange County Sheriff's Office is searching for man who attacked a woman in a Valencia College East Campus bathroom Tuesday night, deputies said....An unknown male entered a women’s restroom and attempted to sexually batter a female student.

    So 4 assaults in women's bathrooms, 1 where there is no mention of whether the bathroom was gendered or not. Not one in a bathroom identified as gender neutral.
  • Sue22Sue22 Registered User Posts: 6,152 Senior Member
    I agree that it's not a small thing to have to go to a bathroom in another dorm and that the voting system used in the case of the student in the other thread wasn't fair, but I have to wonder this- When scores of people have given testimony on recent threads to the fact that their dorms had coed bathrooms and it really wasn't a problem and we have to go back 6 years to find a thread where a single person said it was, does it not say something about the chances that OP's kid would find coed bathrooms to be...not a problem?
  • ccprofandmomof2ccprofandmomof2 Registered User Posts: 482 Member
    @Sue22 So you'll grant the voyeurism, but not assault as a possibility? And voyeurism isn't that bad, after all, since women have to submit to it everywhere else, so they might as well have to worry about it in the bathroom too. I'm sorry, but that's not how I see it. We'll have to agree to disagree. And as I noted in my post, I wasn't trying to offer a comprehensive literature review--just going a quick google search. My mistake. All your links prove is that women get assaulted a lot. I don't see that as undermining my argument. Quite the contrary.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 32,054 Senior Member
    I actually think the chances of being assaulted are greater in a bathroom labeled women only than one open to all genders. I also think that if there's a vote and one person wants a single sex bathroom in the building it should be provided - going to another building is not an acceptable option.

    What's funny is while I didn't mind mixed gendered bathrooms in college - which had changing areas attached to the showers - I really hate the fact that so many women bring boys (who are clearly over six years old), into the adult women's locker room at our Y. (They are supposed to use the kid's locker rooms.)
  • ccprofandmomof2ccprofandmomof2 Registered User Posts: 482 Member
    @mathmom There is no way I can respond without getting political, which is agains the rules, so we'll just have to agree to disagree. But if the OP is still out there, I just want her to know that she is not the only one who has a problem with this, and even if she is the minority, her opinion is valid.
  • Sue22Sue22 Registered User Posts: 6,152 Senior Member
    @ccprofandmomof2 I granted you one incidence of voyeurism four years ago among the millions of men and women attending college. I'm sure there have been more, but my point wasn't that it has never happened, but that the vast majority of bathroom assaults happen in single gender bathrooms.

    I think it's likely that @mathmom's right, that the chances of a women being assaulted in a women's room are greater than they are in a gender neutral bathroom where an assailant knows they have a possibility of running into a man.

    In any case, students are free to choose schools with only gender segregated bathrooms or where they will be guaranteed private bathrooms. To each their own.
  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri Registered User Posts: 8,636 Senior Member
    @ccprofandmomof2, I work on a college campus that's bordered on all sides by a small city. During the school year our building is unlocked all day and anyone can enter. It's also open 24/7 to over 200 STEM students (and whoever else they happen to let in). When I left work tonight it was late. There were only a few people left in my building, and none of them were on the first floor where I work. This isn't a rare situation, and I'm always concerned for my safety when I'm one of the last ones out. However, I have the advantage of knowing that if there's a man in the bathroom, he doesn't belong there. If the bathrooms were gender neutral, anyone could be there whenever they wanted. There's nothing preventing people from being in other parts of the building, of course, but at least in that one small space I'll be able to recognize a male intruder immediately. It's not a fun way to end the day.
  • mmmyaisinusemmmyaisinuse Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    My D was going through the Williams or Amherst? exercise....and this ended up being the reason she ended up EDing to Amherst. Didn't bother me as much, but to my D it apparently was just enough to tilt the scale. Which ended up being a good thing since she was accepted. I wonder if colleges are even aware of this issue...that when kids choose schools the smallest of things actually do matter.
  • jenericjeneric Registered User Posts: 206 Junior Member
    @mmmyaisinuse I agree the smallest things can tip the scale- but I doubt a college would care. They have more applicants waiting in line.
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