The GLBT Center and its Volunteer, Internship and Practicum Program are sponsoring a new project at NC State which maps out all 254 bathrooms on campus to create a reference of each bathroom’s accessibility.
The project, called “Safe to Pee,” was started by Victor Eduardo, a freshman studying statistics and Graecie Vrchota, a senior studying social work. When most people go to the bathroom, they do not have to worry about if it is wheelchair accessible, if it is single occupancy, or if the sign is also written in Braille, they said. But because some people do have to worry about these things, they decided to create the “Safe to Pee” project.
The current map of gender neutral and/or single stall bathrooms is out of date, so “Safe to Pee” launched a scavenger hunt to identify those bathrooms in 16 buildings on campus.
“Ideally we will end up with a map of all the gender inclusive bathrooms and it will end up on our website,” said the GLBT Center’s Program Coordinator Andy DeRoin.
DeRoin went on to say that the map could serve as a reference to future construction projects so that more gender inclusive bathrooms could be built in places where they aren’t already, making campus more transgender inclusive.
In every bathroom, volunteers recorded gender, occupancy, wheelchair accessibility, Braille writing on signs, safety bars by toilets, door width, public access, locks on main doors, number of toilets, number of sanitary napkin bins, changing tables, showers and any additional notes.
The project will continue until all 254 buildings have been mapped.
“We started answering questions about the accessibility and what was in the bathrooms,” said Mitchell Moravec, a senior studying psychology. “There’s things I don’t even think about when I’m looking for a bathroom and they’re make or break for someone else.”
Hayden Youngquist, a senior studying electrical and computer engineering, said knowing about where gender-neutral bathrooms are is important.
“For people who aren’t comfortable in gendered spaces or feel that they need to use single use bathrooms, it’s good for them to know where those resources are and what’s available to them,” Youngquist said.
Youngquist believes single-use bathrooms are becoming more prevalent because, “people are a lot more aware now of the communities that are using these spaces. They’re more aware of the trans community and people with social anxiety and people who need special facilities, like changing tables.”
President-Elect of the GLBT-Community Alliance, J Hallen, a junior studying business administration, said the cause is incredibly important for them.
“For trans students, like myself, it’s important to know where there are single occupancy bathrooms,” Hallen said.