Friends Select Student News Media

The Falcon

Friends Select Student News Media

The Falcon

Friends Select Student News Media

The Falcon

Many Students Prefer Old Bathrooms, According to Survey

Many+Students+Prefer+Old+Bathrooms%2C+According+to+Survey

Over the summer, Friends Select renovated its bathrooms, removing all gendered restrooms, excluding locker rooms. Now all bathrooms in the school are gender neutral. According to a survey sent out by The Falcon, which received responses from 107 community members, the sentiments towards the new bathrooms when compared to the old are mostly negative. 

Of the 107 respondents to the survey, all four grades as well as faculty and staff were represented fairly evenly. The survey showed that over 80% of respondents had either a positive or neutral opinion of the old bathrooms. In contrast, nearly 75% of respondents had a negative or neutral opinion of the new bathrooms. The survey also showed a decrease in comfort from the old to the new bathrooms; on a 5-point scale, for comfort, the average opinion on the new bathrooms was nearly a whole point lower than the old bathroom, with an average comfort of 3.9 for the old bathrooms and 3.0 for the new bathrooms. 

In the survey, the most common criticism of the new bathrooms is that requiring students of all gender identities to share restroom space leads to discomfort, especially for young women and girls. “I thought of the gendered bathroom as a safe place just for girls, and the new shared bathrooms don’t feel the same,” said Khalea Robinson ‘25.  “I think gender neutral bathrooms are important, but I don’t think they should take up every bathroom at the school.” 

However, that discomfort was not limited to girls. “It feels very uncomfortable having to walk into the bathroom and it’s just crowded with girls,” said Danté Jefferson ‘26. Danté was not alone, with many other boys echoing this sentiment. However, like many other students, Danté does appreciate the layout of the new bathrooms. “It would have been better if the format for the private bathrooms were used but [kept] separate bathrooms for the boys and girls.”

Michael Gary, the Head of School, explained some of the goals of the new bathroom. “We want to see individuals as they see themselves; having gendered restrooms felt at odds with that,” said Tr. Michael. “It also felt in alignment with our posture as a school giving our policies in support of diversity, equity, and inclusion.” 

This goal was realized in several ways, especially in making spaces like bathrooms more equitable and inclusive. In the survey sent out by The Falcon, gender non-conforming students were overwhelmingly more comfortable in the gender-neutral bathrooms than the old gendered bathrooms. “They’re definitely a step in the right direction,” said Cal Hawkins ‘25, a transgender man in the Upper School. 

Many faculty members also see the new bathrooms as an upgrade. “I love the privacy of the single stalls. It simplifies life for all members of our community,” said Suzanne Morrison, Chair of the English Department. Suzanne also likes that the new bathrooms “are less of a hang-out place for students.”

The Falcon encourages all students to give a courtesy flush.

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About the Contributor
Patrick Ryan, Editor-in-Chief

Patrick Ryan is a senior at Friends Select and a co-editor-in-chief of The Falcon. Patrick writes about student life, city curriculum, and music. He also helps lead Quake, the Harvard Model Congress, and the Art for Access concert. Patrick spends his time dislocating his shoulder and reading books.

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