Is there a topic more fun than co-ed bathrooms? Not at EphBlog. Consider this recent thread at College Confidential.

I visited a few week ago, and I noticed that there are co-ed bathrooms. Can you request not to have a co-ed bathroom??? Not to be a prude or anything, but they’re totally horrif! I mean, am I being totally unreasonable in expecting same-sex bathrooms? I was too embarassed to ask my hostess about it… so if you know anything about that, let me know! Thanks.

That said, coed bathrooms are no big deal and I don’t think there are any complaints about it on campus. It might be weird the first few days, but eventually it doesn’t really matter if it’s a guy or a girl brushing their teeth next to you, you know? There’s a door on the toilet stall and a curtain on the shower, obviously.

I agree with gardenstategirl that coed bathrooms are a concern. Sorry but don’t want to use a bathroom with a guy next to me.

Recall that Wendy Shalit ’97 became famous for an article in Commentary on this topic.

I first became interested in the subject of modesty for a rather mundane reason — because I didn’t like the bathrooms at Williams College. Like many enlightened colleges and universities these days, Williams houses boys next to girls in its dormitories and then has the students vote by floor on whether their common bathrooms should be coed. It’s all very democratic, but the votes always seem to go in the coed direction because no one wants to be thought a prude. When I objected, I was told by my fellow students that I “must not be comfortable with [my] body.” Frankly, I didn’t get that, because I was fine with my body; it was their bodies in such close proximity to mine that I wasn’t thrilled about.

Comments:

0) Can we get the basic facts straight? What percentage of first year bathrooms are single sex? I had thought that the living arrangements in Mission made single sex bathrooms the default option. Is that wrong?

1) Since there are clearly plenty of first year female Ephs who would prefer a single sex bathroom, why does the College refuse to accommodate them? Why won’t it at least ask for people’s preferences on the housing form?

2) I think that it is because the ruling mindset at Williams allows people to have different preferences for food (I am a vegan!) but not for personal modesty. Don’t want a Charlotte Simmons experience in the bathroom? Tough! If this isn’t the explanation, what is?

3) By the way, is there still a housing form for first years which asks about your noise tolerance, neatness and the like? What questions are on this form?

4) Back in the day, the College asked first years if they would prefer to live in a single sex entry. Can you imagine? Turns out that many female first years wanted this. When was this option removed and who removed it?

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