I used UC Berkeley’s new multi-stall, gender-inclusive bathroom

I would totally pee here again

Earlier this week, UC Berkeley announced that it would be converting many of its restrooms on campus from segregated male and female restrooms to gender-inclusive. These new bathrooms are located on the first floor of Evans Hall.

Now, gender-inclusive bathrooms will be available in 29 different buildings on campus, and will be included in all new building renovations.

Emily Marthinsen, an Assistant Vice Chancellor and campus architect told CBS News: “The campus is committed to providing comfortable and accessible restrooms for everyone’s use”.

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Berkeley students reacted to the gender-inclusive bathrooms with enthusiasm and positive feedback.

Katie Lowry, fourth year Gender and Women’s Studies major, said: “Nobody should feel like they can’t go to the bathroom! There’s no reason for segregating bathrooms.”

Paige Brown, fourth year Social Welfare major, agreed – with one slight reservation: “You can’t shout out that, ‘I need a tampon,’ or it’s awkward if you run out of toilet paper. ‘Hey, dude in the next stall, can you hand me some toilet paper?’ ”

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Floor to ceiling doors

I just had to try the bathrooms out for myself

With the excitement of my peers in mind, I headed to Evans to see and use the brand new, gender-inclusive bathrooms.

As it turns out, Paige’s point is moot in this case. During my visit, I quickly noted the impossibility of passing any sort of hygiene product under the doors of these stalls, as each one was fully enclosed.

This was an exciting development. I ignored the dude who walked in before me, picked a stall, and got down to business. I found that each stall was outfitted with floor-to-ceiling walls and a sturdy door with an actual handle. This was a major upgrade from the regular, flimsy locks on the typical stall door that can fly open at the slightest nudge. They were clean, too, and the toilet paper was well-stocked, substantially reducing the need for begging from neighbors.

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The verdict

Overall, it was above-average as far as peeing in public restrooms goes. Compared with all of the public restrooms I’ve visited in my life, I’d give this one a solid B+, particularly due to the cleanliness and privacy. The mirrors were practical, with a large mirror over the trough sinks and two tall, vertical mirrors that are perfect for last-minute wardrobe adjustments. By losing the automatically flushing toilets and adding a few hand dryers, I’d even bump its score up to a solid A. If we’re grading on a curve along with with campus restrooms overall, particularly the infamous VLSB, it gets an A+.

Plus, the floor-to-ceiling stall doors offer a level of privacy that other campus bathrooms do not. No gaps in the coverage at all.

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Evans vs. VLSB. No contest.

Overall, I’m definitely a fan of this new restroom trend. The bathrooms are not only clean and good quality, they provide a safe and inclusive environment for everyone to do their business. Everyone needs a place to do what they need to do as comfortably as possible, and this provides just that.

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