Updates from the University's Bathroom and Restroom Working Group
Multi-Stall Bathroom Variances
This semester, UMass Amherst submitted variances to the State Board of Examiners of Plumbers and Gas Fitters to have 28 multi-stall women’s and men’s restrooms in seven buildings converted to multi-stall, gender-inclusive ones. The hearing on the variances was held on March 7, 2018 at which time they were tabled for further in-depth review by the Chair and the local Plumbing Inspector. At that time, it was reiterated that the multi-stall variance granted to MIT last fall was a pilot and not precedence.
Marty Smith from UMass Facilities met with the Chair and the local Plumbing Inspector on March 25. 2018 and reviewed each variance request. The criteria for review included: 1) does the building have the correct number of men’s and women’s fixtures and the correct distribution? 2) If the building is used for teaching, does it have Faculty/Staff restrooms? Once these criteria were met, any additional restrooms could be converted to multi-stall gender inclusive restrooms.
The only building that met these expectations was Goodell Hall, and the variance was approved at the hearing on April 4, 2018, with the stipulation that the urinals be removed. Facilities is expected to make the modifications to convert 404C and 404D Goodell into multi-stall, gender-inclusive restrooms this summer.
This year the B&R Working Group will continue to support work being done by Residential Life and the multi-stall bathroom variance request process, as well as begin to review how to improve changing room inclusivity in our sport/rec facilities and continue to build out strategies for educating our campus community on issues related to access and inclusion to restrooms/bathrooms/changing rooms on our campus.
Staff who are members of the Bathroom & Restroom Working Group:
- Genny Beemyn, Stonewall Center
- Dawn Bond, Residential Life
- Julie Chatznoff, Residential Life
- Kristen Dedrick, Residential Life
- Michelle Goncalves, Chancellor’s Office
- Jean MacKimmie, Residential Life
- Dan Markowski, Athletics
- Pat Quinn, Residential Life
- Jenna Rostek, Residential Life
- Marty Smith, Facilities