So can I piss here or not?

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On the fifth floor of Wean Hall, eagle-eyed passersby may notice the shiny new bathroom, finally completed after having been under construction for most of the last semester. The interesting thing, however, is that both doors lead to a multi-stall bathroom — marked as women’s. So where is everyone else meant to go?

According to some rumors, the "women’s” bathroom is meant to be gender neutral, and when you look at it, it makes sense; the stalls are closed floor-to-ceiling, with no gaps in the stall doors and nowhere to admire your homies’ shoes while they’re using the facilities. Paper signs which have been taped over all of the permanent gendered signage declare the restroom an “all-gender space,” and encourage bathroom patrons to treat the bathroom as gender neutral. I’m honestly not sure if these are official signage from the university, or something that a student org has put up. Despite the official look of the poster, and the QR code which takes you to Carnegie Mellon’s all-gender restroom updates page (which has not been updated since 2021), there are also posters floating around with a strikingly similar design which read, “Do you need to piss?” so I’m not fully convinced they’re from the administration. I’ve heard varying accounts from my guy friends about why they have or haven’t used the bathroom. One said that if it was officially marked as gender neutral he’d have no issue using it, but since it’s technically a women’s restroom, he’s a little weirded out. Another said that he has used it in dire situations, but generally avoids it due to the high traffic and open doors (which really is weird, now that I think about it — why are Carnegie Mellon bathroom doors always propped open? Give a guy some privacy). The general sentiment among the fellas seems to be that they’re a bit suspicious. They don’t want to be caught with their pants down (pun entirely intended) if it somehow turns out that this is indeed just a plain old women’s restroom, intended for women.

The way to fix this problem is obviously to change the permanent signage to reflect the true intentions of the bathroom, but this might not be as simple as it seems. Apparently, there is an Allegheny County plumbing code which mandates that all restrooms requiring multiple fixtures have signage which designates them as being intended for one gender or the other, which is quite silly if you ask me. For anyone feeling weirded out about sharing a restroom with other genders: Why? Who cares who’s pissing next to you? Carnegie Mellon has been trying to convince Allegheny County to change this code since at least 2020. Unfortunately, what this means for our all-gender(?) restroom (and any future restrooms Carnegie Mellon may have plans to build) is that the county will have to update their plumbing code to accommodate gender neutral restrooms before we’ll be able to have honest-to-God, official, all-gender restrooms. Until that day, the new bathroom in Wean will remain nominally "women’s." In the meantime, I say go for it: go piss in whichever bathroom you want.