Signs designating a second-floor David Rittenhouse Laboratories men's restroom as a women's restroom were torn down a few hours after they were put up on June 4, according to Schools of Arts and Sciences Vice Dean for Finance and Administration Matthew Lane.
The new signs were put up just four days after a note criticizing the limited availability of restrooms for women, trans, and nonbinary individuals was posted on the 2C10 men's restroom last Thursday.
“There is only one working STALL accessible to women on this floor (not just 1 restroom, but only 1 stall),” the note said. “There are no gender-neutral bathrooms at all, but there are three separate men’s RESTROOMS — that’s ridiculous.”
The sign designating the men's restroom as a women's restroom was torn down and found in a nearby recycling bin as of Saturday.
Lane said that he was alerted Friday afternoon that there was one toilet with no water in the only functioning women's restroom on the second floor of DRL. He added that he told his team that evening to relabel one of the men's restrooms on the floor as a women's restroom and that the process should take place Monday morning.
When asked by a Daily Pennsylvanian reporter Monday afternoon where the signs are posted, Lane said that "signs went up but were torn down by building occupants."
"We are talking about other notification approaches to make this work better," Lane said.
According to Physics graduate student and Diversity in Physics member Rachael Creager, the malfunctioning toilet in the only operating second floor women's restroom has been fixed as of Monday morning.
Currently, there is one functioning women's restroom on the second floor of DRL and three separate men's restrooms. Another women's restroom on the second floor does not have stalls.
Some Physics graduate students said that the issue of the lack of women's restrooms on the second floor of DRL has been a problem for a while.
"DRL has a lot of issues, and I definitely agree that the lack of women's bathrooms is one," Physics graduate student Bill Balunas said.
"I personally don't care who uses the men's bathrooms," Balunas continued. "Some of the female grad students definitely use the 2C10 one sometimes already (for the reasons mentioned in that note), and I haven't heard of anyone being bothered by it."
Physics graduate student Lisa Tran agreed that the lack of women's restrooms on the second floor of DRL has been "a huge concern."
Creager said even though she works on the second floor, she is not personally affected by the shortage of women's bathrooms on the floor because her office location is close to the third floor women's restroom. However, she said she is aware that this has been a problem for fellow Physics graduate students who work on the same floor.
Lane said that the current out-of-order women's restroom on the second floor of DRL will not be fully fixed for another week or two.
"One of the women’s restrooms is fully out of order due to a damaged soil line that was leaking into the space below," Lane said. "The room has been mostly repaired, but University Facilities is waiting on delivery of partitions to complete renovations and reopen the restroom."
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