All-gender stall doors are being shortened in length
Campus facilities have been taking down the stall doors in the All-Gender and Family restroom located on the 3rd floor of the BE building and temporarily replacing them with plywood. They plan to adjust the doors, making them sit 9-inches above the floor, allowing security to detect if the stall is occupied. David Ernevad, Director of Facilities and Plant Operations, estimates all 11 doors will be shortened by May of this year.
According to Noah Norfleet, one of SCC’s Public Safety Officers, this is in response to the local community exploiting the restrooms.
Norfleet says that word has gotten out that SCC has private stalls with their own ventilation, which attracts outside visitors. Because the stall doors allow for complete privacy, outsiders often spend hours camping in the stalls and in some cases, taking advantage of the ventilation to consume narcotics. Norfleet says they have to kick someone out of the all-gender restrooms at least 4 times a day.
This creates problems for students with accessibility issues who depend on Americans with Disability Act (ADA) accessible stalls to use the restroom.
Larisha Nicholson, a student with cerebral palsy, has had to wait outside the ADA stalls for 20 minutes at a time.
On one occasion, after waiting 20 minutes, a student went and called security to unlock one of the ADA stalls for her. According to Nicholson, security ended up escorting at least 4 people out of the family-size stall. On a separate occasion, after waiting 20 minutes, two women came out of a single ADA stall carrying several plastic bags and makeup. Nicholson says, “I don’t want to assume that people are making homes, but you know, it’s kind of how it’s looking.”
On March 16th, Disability Support Services held a meeting where Nicholson proposed the idea of adding a key code to the ADA stalls on the 3rd floor, also known as a Cipher lock. Nicholson’s idea is to place Cipher locks on the ADA accessible stalls once the doors are finished. In time, students with disabilities would get swipe cards or an access code on their student ID to access certain restrooms for their accessibility needs.
The All-Gender and Family restroom is not the only restroom that has problems. Nicholson claims that most of the campus restrooms have broken stall doors and that the railing in the ADA stalls have fallen off on her. Nicholson plans to start an all-inclusive group on campus for students with disabilities, which would be advised by Vero Barrera-Kolb, who has been teaching in the Humanities department since 2014.
Nicholson asks students to, “be more considerate and aware of all of the space that is accessible to you, and the very little space that is accessible to those with accessibility needs, like elevators and the entrances to the building.”