“Where will I poop?”: A Keeney exclusive

As everyone (especially embittered sophomores-seniors) knows, over the past two years, Keeney has undergone massive renovations, turning the shittiest shithole into a better slightly worse Hotel Andrews. While some may think the only differences between old Keeney and new Keeney are that it doesn’t constantly reek of weed and there aren’t cockroaches on the floor, there are a few key innovations. First, there are some questionable color scheme choices (lime green themed Everett/Poland?) and second, there are dorm-wide gender-neutral bathrooms.

Scandalous.

Scandalous.

Non-gendered bathrooms had many skeptical parents raising their eyebrows on move-in day and left some kids slightly uneasy. Indeed, that poor little freshman boy trying to reinvent himself as a ladykiller has to take a shit in front of that cute girl who lives next to him on the first night.

Units reacted in a variety of ways–some embraced being in the liberal bastion of the world and decided to go with the flow. Other units created makeshift gender signs for the bathrooms. But, over the past month, most Keeneyites had become comfortable doing their business in front of anyone.

Fast forward: ResLife announces that there is “no change in policy regarding restrooms in Keeney,” which actually means they fucked up and put up gender-neutral signs instead of gendered signs even though that makes no sense which means that gendered bathrooms will be reinstated soon.

We set out to capture the campus buzz surrounding gender neutral bathrooms by asking Keeneyites this simple question: “What do you think about ResLife implementing gendered bathrooms in Keeney?” (Due to privacy concerns, every interviewee is anonymous.)

This question was met with a considerable amount of confusion about ResLife’s decision…

“I don’t understand.”

“What?”

“Wait, say that again?”

“Are you serious? Why would it be a mistake?”

“Wait, so they are going to gender the bathrooms even though they said they were all gender-neutral?”

“I really don’t see how it could be a mistake that they made gender-neutral signs.”

“They keep switching it back and forth.”

Some could see validity in the decision…

“I know the only technical reason they might want to do that is because in the women’s bathroom you have to throw away pads and tampons.”

“One thing I find awkward is when I’m going to poop and having a girl be there.”

“I think one gender-neutral bathroom is good.”

Some supported ResLife’s decision…

“I personally think it was a very inconsiderate thing to make all the bathrooms gender-neutral. The university should know that students come from such diverse backgrounds and I don’t understand why they could enforce such a one-sided regulation, especially because it’s bathrooms. They’re not something you’re supposed to be forced out of your comfort zone for. I think there needs to be all three kinds of bathrooms, because our student body is so diverse.”

“It’s a good thing that they’re going back to gendered. It’s just easier, more comfortable.”

“I think there should be some degree of separation–because there are certain things a female’s body does that a male’s does not and having that separation available for people who don’t necessarily feel comfortable is important.”

“I’m just more comfortable with gendered bathrooms.”

Then there were these kids…

“I don’t really care about the gender-neutral bathrooms at all.”

“I haven’t actually ever used a gender-neutral bathroom.”

“Ours were never really gender-neutral. There’s a girls bathroom right next to our gender-neutral bathroom, so all the girls go there. The guys just use the gender-neutral one.”

This person really knew the facts…

“I understand that it’s under Rhode Island law that they have to mark one bathroom for women and one for men. I think that ResLife has given the students a fair amount of reign over how they want to use the bathrooms. But, I think that if the students are finding it useful and helpful then maybe the administration should pay attention to that.”

There were dissenters…

“Bad decision. Love the gender-neutral bathrooms.”

“I’m pretty comfortable with gender-neutral bathrooms and I think most people are.”

“This is breaking the community. It’s a space we hang out in, it’s open. I think it’s bad.”

“It’s an extra set of bathrooms for everyone. And it’s perfect for those who don’t identify with a gender.”

“It brings us closer together as humans, not sexual beings.”

“It’s counterproductive, backwards. Even though it was uncomfortable at first, we all got over it and it was working. We’re not gonna enforce it though, right?”

“I don’t understand why. Nobody here thinks it’s a big deal. Personally, I like it gender-neutral because then I don’t have to go to a specific one. The one day it was gender-specific there were five guys in line to take a shower and I had to wait and was almost late to class because of it.”

“Initially, I was so against [gender-neutral bathrooms]. You become so ostracized if you present an anti-liberal opinion at Brown. But after being here for a month, you become comfortable with people on your floor and you realize how trivial it is… since you’re making such a strong political statement by having [gender-neutral bathrooms], I am now definitely for it.”

Others thought it was none of ResLife’s business…

“I think the halls should be allowed to vote in a unit meeting.”

“We’re not gonna listen to it. Our floor is happy. It’s inconvenient to change them.”

“I think ResLife wanted to encourage [gender-neutral bathrooms] and the bashing that they’re receiving is from first years and parents who are a bit concerned with the idea. I think it should be a floor decision. They all kind of started gender-neutral so we did encourage it. But after the first month, the floor should be able to decide. Even though the newspaper is saying whatnot I think that’s what the RPLs are doing.”

But we all know what’s really on every Keeneyite’s mind…

“I don’t really care about gender-neutral bathrooms. I just want them to open the doors between the buildings.”

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3 Comments

  1. hi

    One thing I would like everyone to understand is that contractors do the renovations, not res life. One reason contractors often mess up is because they’re tight on time.

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