Following feedback from North Hall renovation, private bathrooms may be coming to more residence halls

Residence Life recognizes students’ needs and looks forward to addressing them, said Bob Beyer, senior director of Residence Life and Housing.


With North Hall’s renovation came innovative changes to how dorm living looks and feels, especially in regard to community bathrooms. The bathrooms in North Hall were renovated to provide more privacy to students.   

Rather than the open-layout communal bathrooms, which are common in most dormitory halls across campus, the new North Hall restrooms consist of pods designed for single use, complete with a sink, toilet and shower in a lockable room.   

Bob Beyer, senior director of Residence Life and Housing, said that the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted students’ desire for this added privacy, and students living in North Hall have been happy with the change.  

Mugs Johnson, a sophomore BFA acting major, currently lives in North Hall and said that the bathrooms create a sense of independence.   

“I feel so much more independent in these bathrooms,” Johnson said. “It adds a bit of humanity.”  

Johnson previously lived in Heritage and said that as a transgender individual in a women’s bathroom, while they didn’t fear for their safety, they were scared of other students’ reactions. They said they received “weird looks” and didn’t always feel welcome in the bathroom they were most comfortable using.   

 “[North Hall’s new bathrooms] help everyone feel more comfortable,” Johnson said. “It’s great for gender inclusive housing.”   

Beyer said that it is Residence Life’s priority for all residence halls to have these types of private bathrooms, or something close to it.  

“We recognize that it is an issue, and we are trying to get more bathrooms to have this privacy for students,” Beyer said.  

While students praised the renovation efforts of North Hall, they also told The Exponent they would be eager to look for the same changes in other residence halls on campus.  

Kevin Bubnick, a junior arts management major and resident assistant, has lived in Klein Hall in Davidson Commons, Lang and the Amelia Harding House for Sustainable Living.   

“I’ve definitely felt weirded out or uncomfortable in communal bathrooms,” Bubnick said. “The transition from Klein to Lang’s communal bathrooms was rough.”   

Bubnick is now an R.A. in Harding, where each room has a Jack-and-Jill-style bathroom that is shared with the room next door. Bubnick has noticed that students seem to prefer the privacy of the hall’s shared bathrooms over their own adjoining bathroom.   

“The private bathrooms on each floor have been really popular for students,” Bubnick said.  

Nelia Rose Holley, a junior acting and directing major currently living in Findley, said some extra privacy would be warranted.   

 “Some of the shower curtains don’t fully close and that is something I’m worried about all the time,” Holley said. “I think that one thing people really value is having their own personal space when they’re using the restroom and showering —that’s your ‘you’ time. It’s kind of rough to go from having that safe space for yourself to then not.”   

Beyer said that Residence Life recognizes these concerns.  

“Residence Life is right in line with what [students] are asking for. We want to see these changes,” he said.