I’ve been squished inside a bathroom stall since I started attending school and, as an adult, I refuse to be squished inside of a 36x60 inch space any longer. Being cramped inside a small stall is like being stuffed inside a box with a lid on it.
In order to accommodate people of all sizes, Texas State needs to invest in constructing restroom stalls that are spacious and functional.
When the average stall is cramped, it becomes more convenient to use the one gloriously large stall designated for people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires institutions to have these large stalls to accommodate people with a disability. However, for some students, these stalls are also the only ones on campus with enough space to comfortably move around in.
Khalidat Oloko, a nursing sophomore, said she prefers using the big stall due to the limited spacing inside the average stall. She said there, she’s not elbow to elbow, fighting to turn around in the stall.
“I tend to use the bigger stalls instead of the regular ones,” Oloko said. “If they’re occupied, then I'd either wait or go into the regular one. Even then, it’s a hassle to fit both myself and my backpack inside.”
The stalls at Texas State are typically so tiny, it sometimes feels like you end up having to lean against the toilet seat just to close the door. When restroom stalls are hard to maneuver around, the average restroom user may tend to gravitate toward the handicap-accessible stalls. This takes the use away from an individual who may actually need it.
Those in wheelchairs or with motor disabilities are sometimes bound to only being able to use that one particular stall, but if it's occupied they don't have the convenience of using another stall. They have to wait until the larger stall becomes available, and that's if there isn't a line ahead of them. While they might not have to wait an extremely long time, the purpose of those stalls were made to accommodate them, and it puts them at a disadvantage when they are unable to use them.
Buildings on campus like Derrick Hall, which haven't seen renovations in years, feature restroom stalls that are small and extremely difficult to move around in. Having any type of belonging, such as a purse or backpack, can diminish the space from some to none.
While other restrooms have been remodeled, the main issue still lies in the spacing. Creating restrooms stalls with a bit more realistic spacing could be a good idea, similar to the individual restrooms designed for families.
“I think that they should make the stalls bigger just to be more inclusive. If you think about it, having one accessible stall or one stall that is more accessible to people who do have disabilities or who are differently-abled is the bare minimum,” Breana Miller, a Texas State alumna, said. “To even open that up to making the stalls slightly bigger, or even having more than one stall that is designated for people who are disabled or differently-abled, will be a lot better.”
This isn't to take away any credit from Texas State and say its done nothing when it comes to bettering the restrooms. Many restrooms on campus provide free hygienic accessories such as menstrual products.
However, the lack of space and inconvenience that comes with small restroom stalls is an issue Texas State needs to look into. These compact restroom stalls are exclusive to students who need a little more space to take care of business.
- Jackie Broussard is a journalism sophomore.
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