The Undergraduate Student Government senate discussed replacing bathroom codes with proximity card access in their weekly meeting on Feb. 28.
“I’m very happy that after a year and a half, we finally have a bathroom recommendation,” University Student Life Committee chair Jenny Zhang ’18 said.
According to Zhang, survey results revealed that 71 percent of the student body opposed having codes only on women’s bathrooms, 72 percent opposed having codes on either gender bathrooms and 56 percent voted in favor of prox access to all bathrooms.
The USLC, Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students and the Department of Public Safety have decided the best way to move forward would be switching to Tiger Card access to dormitory bathrooms, Zhang explained.
The new Salto locks for bathrooms would not require a PIN number, unlike the locks on dorm rooms, according to Zhang. Housing is trying to get funding to replace the bathroom locks, and the changes could be in place as early as late 2016.
Zhang said that all the locks for both genders would be accessible with a student’s prox, regardless of the student’s gender, adding that this option would enable students to have independence as well as privacy.
“I think it’s an extra layer of protection [for those] who feel uncomfortable,” Zhang explained.
U-councilor Ethan Marcus ’18 said that many students would find this new system to be a hassle.
“I’m not saying that it should be a one-sided standard… rationale that only University students should have access is convoluted because to get into the building you need a prox,” he said.
Zhang added that the prox access would also provide for a record of who accessed a bathroom at a certain time. If, for example, someone were to be assaulted in a bathroom there would be a record to see who went in, she noted. According to Zhang, the records would be protected by relevant University protocol regarding prox data.
U-Councilor Dallas Nan ’16 noted that if the data is pertinent to a certain case then the committee on discipline and the honor committee can ask for those records, but the record would not be released for anyone’s common knowledge.
Although both genders will have access to any dorm bathroom, the bathrooms will still remain “Men’s” or “Women’s” rather than being relabeled as gender-neutral.
“The University is still working on ways to include gender-neutral bathrooms; it's in the strategic plan,” USG president Aleks Czulak ’17 noted.
Maxim Zaslavsky ’17, IT committee chair, said that the goal of the new committee members would be to provide ample support for students pursuing projects or apps that could be useful for the student body at large.
“I think the name ‘IT’ is a little misleading, and I think our primary goal is fixing the way websites are hosted,” Zaslavsky said.
He added that there has always been a gap in support between students.
"Students have had to reinvent the wheel each time," he said.
Czulak noted that USG should push for greater integration among committees, including the IT committee, to increase communication. In addition, she explained that many developers and entrepreneurs have contacted USG with ideas that could benefit the school, which USG could support in the future.
The senate has been working on a resolution to support the inclusion of co-op and “Block 95” students into the independent housing room draw, Nan said.
Nan said his working group hopes to alter the independent pledge, because the current stipulations are too restrictive.
Nan added that there seems to be an oversupply of rooms for independent students, which then get moved to the general upperclassmen draw. Further, Nan added that students in co-ops and “Block 95” are getting nearly two-thirds of their meals on their own and need a kitchen.
“That is one piece of the puzzle that hasn’t been thought through,” Nan said.
He explained that changes to the independent housing draw would affect other rooming options as well.
Mary Heath Manning ’17 said that the Princeton Perspective Project is currently working on a number of projects, including a collaboration with the Inter-Club Council to continue conversations on diversity. PPP will also be working with female leaders in the student body to discuss challenges and obstacles that women on campus face.
Nan suggested that the PPP reach out to freshmen during orientation.
“I know it’s jam-packed, but I’d love to see the mindfulness brought out in that,” Nan said.