The answer, in short: As of August, yes!
The second floor men’s bathroom was converted into a single-occupancy space in order to fit two different needs; the College was already in the process of creating restrooms that would meet standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act when the College expanded their non-discrimination statement to include gender identity and expression (The Gazette reported the change here).
As part of that process, says Equal Opportunity Officer Sharmaine LaMar, the Equal Opportunity Advisory Commission recommended “that the College provide at least one gender neutral, single-occupancy restroom in each major building on campus.” As a result, “the committee collaborated with Facilities staff to find the right bathroom in McCabe that would meet both goals.”
Director of Facilities Stu Hain explained that in order to accomodate disabilities, “we reduced the number of toilet fixtures to allow a wheel chair to maneuver, eliminated a door for the same reason and made the room lockable for privacy.”
He continued, “Because that created a space that was suitable for one person at a time to use, including the lock on the entrance door, it made sense to us that it could be used as a ‘safe’ bathroom as well. We just changed the sign to indicate it may be used by either sex, and we will do the same wherever possible.”
Are there other changes you like (or don’t) around campus? We’ll find out the answers for you–just let us know at dailygazette [at] swarthmore [dot] edu.