Monday, December 21, 2009

Vermont Student Sues over Co-ed Showers & Toilets

The female Green Mountain College student claims state building codes require restroom privacy, which is not provided to her with "flimsy plastic curtains" and men urinating in her view.

-- From "Suit filed over Green Mountain College co-ed bathrooms" by Tim Johnson, Burlington Free Press Staff Writer, 12/19/09

Jennifer Weiler, 19, a first-year student from Sandgate, contends that the college’s failure to designate separate bathrooms for males and females violates state-adopted building and plumbing codes that the Department of Public Safety is charged with enforcing. DPS is listed as the defendant in the civil complaint, filed Monday in Washington County Superior Court.

DPS has reportedly taken the position that the code requirements don’t apply to existing buildings in which the plumbing hasn’t been changed or altered, as is apparently the case with the college’s dorms. A Green Mountain College spokesman declined comment on the suit Friday.

Green Mountain College, a private institution in Poultney, was all-female until it went co-ed in 1975. Today, it, has 820 undergraduates and seven residence halls. All the dorms are co-ed — some floors are single-gender, some are mixed.

Most dormitories across the country, including those at the University of Vermont and at Champlain College, are co-ed. St. Michael’s College, however, does not have co-ed dorms.

“The co-ed bathrooms have no doors on the showers, just flimsy plastic curtains,” the suit states. “Men will use the toilets without closing the door. Plaintiff and others are uncomfortable under these circumstances.”

“I can’t think of a single public building (other than a dorm) that has a co-ed bathrooms where men and women co-mingle,” said Pamela Moreau, Weiler’s lawyer, in an e-mail. “We understand that some people are fine with co-ed bathrooms, but we don’t think it should be forced on people who object to them, for whatever reason.”

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.