Opinion: Stockton bathrooms lack privacy

Written for The Argo by Mikaila Rodriguez

Stockton University bathrooms invade the privacy of users with gaps in doorways, making it uncomfortable to take care of business. 

Nick Levecchia a student at Stockton University has shared his experience with the bathrooms stating,  “Most of the time I feel uncomfortable with using the stalls due to the fact that I can be seen sitting on the inside.”  This feeling was shared by numerous students, faculty, and staff when asked about how they felt about the gaps in the bathroom stalls.

The men’s and women’s bathroom facilities in the library have extra privacy protection with metal pieces welded on, covering the gaps in the stalls. Due to it being one of the only bathrooms with extra coverage it tends to get very busy at the beginning and end of classes. This should not be the only bathroom in the academic building where people can have privacy when using the bathroom. This should be the standard, not the exception.

Students and faculty who suffer from paruresis (known as shy bladder syndrome), which according to WebMD is a phobia where the fear of negative evaluation by others related to using public toilets, may suffer the most from these gaps in the stalls. Even those without this debilitating condition feel odd and self-conscious when using the bathroom facilities. 

In America, having privacy while going to the bathroom is a cultural norm and expectation, which needs to be respected in Stockton as well. Adding an overlay on the bathroom stall doors to cover the gaps so others cannot see into the stall may cost a bit of money, but isn’t it worth it to make the campus community feel comfortable? Should there be a price placed on privacy when using the bathroom? I believe not.

All of the bathrooms on the Stockton campus need to be fixed to fill the gaps in the stall doors to show respect for our community members and guests and offer the basic right to privacy to all.

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