November 10, 2014
Q: The ever-inquisitive Associate Professor of History Dave Madsen, had this question: "I have noticed that the men's bathrooms on Casey 2 and 4 have had the stalls removed so that one must lock the door upon entry. I'm guessing that the same has happened in the women's rooms on 1, 3 and 5. Is this the preamble to a change to make all of them gender neutral?"
A: Checking with Lara Branigan (Director of Design and Construction in Facilities Administration), we learned the change was made in order to improve accessibility in the restrooms. "The toilets were located in alcoves with stall doors closing off the alcove and the stalls were not as large as current Americans with Disability Act (ADA) requires. In order to prevent someone in a wheelchair from becoming stuck in a stall, we removed the stall doors, which then necessitated the locks on the doors to make them single user rooms."
As for the separate issue of gender neutral restrooms, Branigan says, "We are studying the feasibility of gender inclusive restrooms on campus. There are a set of complex issues involved including building codes, current configurations, signage, etc. We are working through these issues and hope to have some direction in the near future."
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