The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

All gender, no privacy? Drawing attention to the LC all gender bathroom

Did you know that there is an all gender bathroom in the Leonard Center? Maybe you did, but as we began our action project for WGSS 102 Gender and Sport, we did not. The intention of this action project is to fuse theory from our class with practice manifested in our community.We initially set out to transform an already existing bathroom in the LC to an all gender bathroom to promote a more inclusive space within our athletic community. It took several weeks of asking student workers and LC users to find out that there already was one! This set our project on a different course of action: making this bathroom more user-friendly and more visible to those who would like to use an all gender bathroom.

In a brief visual survey of the space there is one private shower, one toilet, one sink, one bench with lockers and one changing table. The room is also big enough to accommodate handicapped individuals. There are two entrances to this bathroom: one from the pool area and one from the Leonard Center Lobby. Only the latter of these doors can be locked from the inside. The fact that the LC has this facility is great. However, this space is problematic in that it fails to provide privacy to an individual who is using the toilet both due to the lack of a stall with a locking door and the fact that anyone may enter from the pool area at any time. This is a pressing issue because the main tenants of an all-gender space are trans* or gender-nonconforming students, faculty, staff and community members.

In order to make this space better suited to serve those who need it, we contacted Macalester Athletics Director Kim Chandler. In our letter we explained the problem (as we did above), and a three-part solution. We asked that:

1) a sign be posted in the restroom that indicates that the door to the pool area (which does not lock from inside the bathroom) may be opened at any time by people in the pool area,

2) staff and student workers of the Leonard Center are taught about the existence and location of this facility so they may refer those asking about its whereabouts,

3) a stall with locking door be installed around the toilet, though seeing this as an expensive solution we proposed that even the installation of a curtain would be beneficial to the privacy of the users.

As of now we have yet to receive a response from Kim Chandler (seeing as this is a very busy time of year for her), but we hope to make this all gender bathroom a better space for all of its users so that it can be fully beneficial to the Macalester community.

View Comments (4)
More to Discover

Comments (4)

All The Mac Weekly Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • A

    Alison MillsSep 6, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    Hi there! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with SEO? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good success. If you know of any please share. Cheers!