hile past Features have discussed thought-provoking or pertinent issues, the place where we do our “business” seems a bit lighter. I admit, it was fun to read about – some of the survey responses were hilarious! However, there are serious bathroom matters that deserve close examination. Gender-neutral bathrooms are becoming more of issue, gaining national and campus attention with the hope of providing a safe space for everyone. Likewise, tips to avoid illness and the spread of disease are equally important to ensure healthy lifestyle habits, especially in a resident hall. So while discussions of the best and worst are entertaining, there are more layers to this issue than meets the eye.
- AU T U M N MCC A RTA N, Feat u res Ed itor
G E N D E R- N E U T R A L B A T H R O O M S ? F E AT U R E
5 BE ST B
AT H RO OM
LO C AT ION S
(Hunter Conservatory )Penrose Library *Reid Campus Center +Hall of Science ,Baker Ferguson Fitness Center
Library, 4th floor
FUN FACT: A urinal in the men’s bathroom on Maxey’s second floor is dedicated to a retired anthropology professor.
MAXEY, 1ST FLOOR
“My feet don’t reach from atop that raised throne.”
“Spacious, private, handsome architecture.”
TO P “Because I had sex there.”
LIBRARY, TOP FLOOR
A G R E AT BAT H RO OM P R A N K R E M E M BE R E D
his April 1st marked the third year anniversary of a bathroom stall relocation effort to play a prank on a Resident Director. Seniors Peter Griffin and Justin Hampton did it together in Lyman House, and treated RD Ben Drury to an interesting entryway. “ “We were sitting in our rooms, our homework was done, it was 3 a.m., and he said to me ‘do you wanna take apart the bathroom?’” said Griffin. The two managed to disassemble a bathroom stall, carry it downstairs and reassemble it in front of Drury’s room. “It took all of [Justin’s] strength to get the metal bands [holding the doors together] off, and every screwdriver in my toolbox,” said Griffin. “It was a double prank, too, because when someone went into the bathroom there were just two toilets sticking up from the floor,” said Griffin. The installation was removed within 24 hours.
Maxey, 1st floor
WARNING LADIES: Olin Hall, East women’s bathroom, third stall This door will NOT stay closed! If anyone even taps another stall, it opens and you are exposed to the rest of the bathroom-goers.
hen the sexy men and women of “Ally McBeal” shared one bathroom in their progressive law firm, the mid-1990s audience was shocked. Sexually non-discriminate bathrooms were an anomaly at the time and something that only lawyers in too-short skirts with fantasies about dancing babies dealt with. Gender-neutral bathrooms are no longer marginalized to lawyer-based dramedies and are now becoming more common in public areas. With a greater awareness of the GLBTQ community, a campaign for more genderneutral bathrooms is growing in popularity across the nation, with its strongest foothold on liberal arts campuses. The move toward non-gender specific bathrooms is one of safety and comfort. According to Assistant Professor of Religion and Gender Studies Melissa Wilcox, an advocate of gender-neutral bathrooms, the strict division and gender specificity of bathrooms can make using one can a “humiliating or dangerous” experience for those outside social gender norms. Though less progressive than many colleges in this issue, Whitman still provides places on campus where gender-neutral bathrooms are an option for students. According to Nancy Tavelli, Campus-Life Director, Whitman provides non-gender specific bathrooms in all upperclassmen campus housing. Douglas Hall, North Hall, Marcus House, College House and the Interest House Community all provide this bathroom option. “Most things are fairly gender-neutral, especially in places where students decide their community,” said Tavelli. In the spaces on campus where students have the option of choosing their community, they also have the option of deciding whether to use gendered or non-gendered bathrooms. According to Tavelli, this ideally allows for everyone’s comfort needs to be met. Sophomore Heather Ferguson, an RA in Douglas, affirmed this democratic method of assigning bathrooms.
“Because when I’m there, so is everyone else.”
April 2, 2009 • Bringing you all the important (t)issues
WHITMAN COLLEGE PIO NEER
The Toilet Paper
E D I T O R’ S N O T E
APRIL 02, 2009
Olin, 1st floor
3 WOR ST B
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(Olin Hall )Maxey Hall *Cordiner Hall HOW YOU
A R E T H E BAT H RO OM S W H E R E L I V E? I like ‘em.
I mean... they could be better.
21% Meh, they are okay.
Wonderful, wonderful, simply wonderful!
They are disgusting!