Editorial: Problems with bathrooms

Maybe you are a woman who wishes the tampon machines in the bathrooms were not just for show,  so you would not have to ask every female in your immediate vicinity for help.  Maybe you are a man who wishes your bathrooms were stocked with basic essentials, like paper towels.

Or maybe you are a transgender, genderfluid, or genderqueer person, or maybe just a cisgender person, who wishes that the school had a gender neutral bathroom that was not in the nurse’s office. Oberlin College, Wesleyan University, Northwestern University, and Illinois State University are just a few examples of schools that have opted to implement gender neutral bathrooms.

In any of these cases, you are a student who feels that the amenities in bathrooms at Schreiber are inadequate, unsanitary, and altogether lacking.

The lack of sanitary napkins and tampons in the female bathrooms at the school is a problem most women have encountered.  This is surprising, as half of the student body needs these supplies, and the school is already equipped with the machines necessary to dispense them.

Although tampons and pads are available in the nurse’s office, it is cumbersome for students to travel the distance. When a student gets her period at school, she should be accommodated as quickly as possible and be able to access tampons right in the bathroom. This delay time can also cause health problems for students, which is clearly not optimal for anyone involved.

Many students are forced to ask other girls for pads or tampons, or go out of their way to ask a school nurse. Both of these options can be embarrassing, and the former may be unhygienic.

The male bathrooms are often just as understocked. Many students report a complete lack of paper towels in the male bathrooms.

However, some students do not even have a bathroom they feel comfortable accessing, let alone a clean, well-stocked one. Because all bathrooms in the school are single sex, this leaves students who do not identify as either sex or identify as a something other than the sex they were assigned at birth with no options except one bathroom in the nurse’s office, which is far from most classrooms or often occupied by a sick student.  This disregard for transgender and genderqueer students is not just.

The Schreiber Times believes that all bathrooms should be sanitary and stocked with supplies, that women’s bathrooms should be stocked with pads and tampons, and that there should be more gender neutral bathrooms.  Schreiber students should always feel comfortable in their school, and these issues challenge comfort.