In the Fall of 2006, a group of students in Emily Kane's 'Privilege, Power, and Inequality' Sociology class was assigned an on-campus project on sexuality. We chose to adopt a project started at the University of California Santa Barbara called PISSAR - People in Search of Safe and Accessible Restrooms. We looked into the history of disability at Bates, current nation-wide transgender activism, and set out on the bulk of our project, which was to inspect, measure, and document every bathroom on the Bates campus. We were measuring and noting many things about the bathrooms, including door width (the Americans with Disabilities Act requires 32 inches), height of the toilet (ADA requires 17-19 inches), the presence of grab bars, the height of the soap, paper towels, and toilet paper, and whether the bathroom was marked as “women’s” or “men’s,” or simply “restroom,” “lavatory,” or not marked at all. We hope these results will raise awareness about issues of accessibility and safety, and encourage the college to make buildings more accessible, designate more gender-neutral bathrooms, and make more bathrooms handicapped accessible.
What were we looking for?
After we inspected a bathroom, we posted this info sheet to raise awareness about these issues and our project.
To raise awareness about the Transgender Day of Remembrance, we posted this flyer. (pdf)
The checklist we used was based on this PISSAR model.
This was the final report for our project.
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