Good idea, poorly executed, when it comes to all gender bathrooms

If you are not familiar with the All Gender Restrooms on the first floor of the Tech Building, you should be. They are multi-occupancy restrooms that deadbolt from the inside. Let that sink in for a moment.

Think about what you could do if you were a person of poor moral character and ill intent. Think about what could be done to you if you were of poor physique, or simply caught with your pants down. Now, let that sink in for a minute. Scary, right?

While I was waiting for a friend to finish smoking recently, I used one of the all gender restrooms to go #1. Once I started to go, It sounded like the man in the stall next to me started to loudly and vigorously masturbate. No sound was made until there was little I could do about it.

What if I had been a woman? What if I had been transgender? What if I were less physically abled? Based on the noises I was hearing, he was likely already of questionable repute. What was to stop him from raping someone? What was to stop him from committing a hate crime upon a transgender person? What if he had chosen the moment I started to go, to dash to the door and lock it and assault me?

What-if situations are fine and dandy, but lets look at the facts. The potential for issues was verified by the open crime log that public safety maintains at their desk. The open crime log contains information regarding crimes and incidences that occur on or near the campus. Anybody can ask to view this log.

According to the open crime log, there were three incidents that occurred in the first-floor T-building restrooms. There were well over a dozen other incidents that happened near these restrooms or in other restrooms.

I also found 4 incidents of sex crimes from January 1st 2015 until current. The incidents ranged from exposure, to forcible rape. One happened near the campus. Three of those events took place on campus. Of the three sex-offenses, one happened in a restroom of the M building.

Don’t get the idea that I am against all gender restrooms. They are a fantastic idea. They show that we are becoming a mature society that is more accepting of all people. In my opinion, the all gender restrooms on the first floor of the Tech building, were just poorly executed. A person holding a deadbolt from the inside can apply exert more force than a person with a key can from the outside. It is simple physics.

Proposed solutions:

Change these specific All Gender Restrooms to single occupancy

  • Pro: Least expensive
  • Con: Poor use of space

Remove the deadbolt from the All Gender Restroom door and make the stalls more private and secure

  • Pro: Security and privacy
  • Con: Poor use of resources

Remodel the area to three or four single occupancy All Gender Restrooms

  • Pro: Safer than the current
  • Con: Expensive

Remodel all restroom areas to be single occupancy All Gender Restrooms. Four to eight single-occupancy restrooms could fit in every area where there is a gendered restroom.

  • Pro: This should show the
    school as being gender friendly. Could allow for even more wheelchair accessible restrooms. Might even be the first school to do this. Could be a big selling point and raise enrolment.
  • Con: Very expensive, pay-off
    is not guaranteed

I hope this brings about a change that we can all feel secure with. I believe the safety of all our students at Minneapolis Community & Technical College is of the utmost importance to the administration. I would hate for something to happen before changes are made.

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