The group calls itself the "Bathroom Squad."
Student leaders and activists at the University of Colorado are patrolling campus bathrooms -- looking for restrooms that don't meet handicap accessibility codes and taking note of buildings that they don't think have adequate offerings of gender-neutral restrooms.
Since they started this summer, students say they have found several problems in campus bathrooms. Among them: Too few gender-neutral offerings in most buildings and restrooms that are marked as handicap accessible, but have too heavy of doors that they don't actually meet the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. In some bathrooms, trash receptacles block access to soap dispensers or towels, said Caitlin Pratt, the director of safety and inclusion for the CU Student Government.
Each bathroom inspection takes about 20 minutes and students fill out a questionnaire -- that, for example, requires measuring doors to see if they are wide enough for wheelchairs.
In one recent walkabout, Lauren Cross, communications director for the CU Student Government, said the team found stalls with too short of walls in a men's bathroom. The doors are half the size of the stalls, meaning people's faces and torsos are exposed.
At the end of the semester, the student leaders will have created an extensive document that can be placed online as a resource for students who need to know where the most accessible bathrooms are on campus, said Pratt, a senior political science major. The inventory builds on a report done a few years ago by CU's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Resource Center.
The Bathroom Squad group will also use its findings to advocate for more gender-inclusive bathrooms on campus as well as renovations to make restrooms more accessible for people in wheelchairs or who have disabilities.
"The ADA requirements are the bare minimum," Pratt said. "It would be nice to go above and beyond."
The student government is working alongside TRANS*cend, a transgender student group on campus, and the Council for Inclusion Leadership and Advocacy.
A student government resolution requires that buildings funded with student fees -- including the University Memorial Center, the Rec Center and the Wardenburg health center -- must plan for gender-neutral bathrooms in remodels.
For example, planners working on a proposal to renovate the Glenn Miller Ballroom are considering the addition of gender-neutral bathrooms and the under-construction Rec Center renovation will have an expanded gender-neutral locker room.
Members of the Bathroom Squad expects to finish the report of main campus bathrooms by the end of the fall semester.
Contact Camera Staff Writer Brittany Anas at 303-473-1132 or email@example.com or twitter.com/brittanyanas.