The Lack of Urinal Dividers Pisses off Male Students

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The Lack of Urinal Dividers Pisses off Male Students

The lack of dividers between urinals makes boys unwilling to use them due to awkward closeness and lack of privacy.

The lack of dividers between urinals makes boys unwilling to use them due to awkward closeness and lack of privacy.

Photo by Ariel Levchenko

The lack of dividers between urinals makes boys unwilling to use them due to awkward closeness and lack of privacy.

Photo by Ariel Levchenko

Photo by Ariel Levchenko

The lack of dividers between urinals makes boys unwilling to use them due to awkward closeness and lack of privacy.

By Cristian Edwards, Online Sports Editor

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This is possibly the biggest issue for all males at CHS and it should not be taken lightly. The question, you ask? Urinal dividers.

Through my four years at this school, I’ve been dumbfounded as to why there haven’t been urinal dividers installed in every boys bathroom. As a voice for the male population, we need them.

For those of you who are not aware of what a urinal divider is, it’s a slab of plastic installed between urinals in bathrooms to protect the privacy of those who use them.

Privacy is key for people when they go to the bathroom. It’s the whole reason stalls have a lock on them, so why can’t urinals have that same necessity?

Between classes, the bathroom is packed full of students waiting in line only for the stalls, rather than the urinals. Because of the urinal’s openness and severe lack of privacy, they don’t even serve a purpose in being there. They make students feel too exposed.

What’s a bathroom without privacy? What are stalls without doors or private bathrooms without locks? The two need the pair to coincide perfectly. Urinals need urinal dividers to achieve their full potential.

If everyone who only had to go “number one” would only use the urinals, the bathroom traffic would be completely evaded, but nobody wants to. Whether it’s fear or straight up refusal that keeps males from using urinals, no one truly knows how to properly use a urinal without dividers.

The only way to properly use urinals that have no dividers is simple; only the urinals on the far right and far left can be used. By contorting one’s body away from the middle section and facing the wall or stall while using the urinal, one manages to successfully keep his privacy in such an uncomfortable situation. The middle urinals are not, and should never be, used under any circumstance.

During the countless times I’ve been inside a CHS bathroom, I cannot recall a student using the middle urinal, ever. When men use the middle urinal, it completely crushes the little sense of privacy one has when using a urinal. It’s an unspoken rule when there are no dividers: there must be a one urinal space in between urinal-users.

With urinal dividers installed in the bathrooms, full privacy will be obtained, and all would be right in the world. The efficiency of the bathrooms would be sped up immensely as no student would feel like he was subject to judgment, and the stall toilet seats would be cleaner because using every urinal would be socially acceptable.

Dividers are needed not only in between urinals, but to also separate the urinal closest to the sink. With this only being a problem in four bathrooms, one extra urinal divider would be needed in those select bathrooms. Therefore, with the 25 urinals in the nine boys bathrooms throughout the entire school plus the extra four needed in between the last urinal and a sink, the school would need to install 20 dividers.

A single plastic divider and installation parts would cost roughly $132 according to partitionsandstalls.com, pending county approval. With 20 dividers needed, the total cost would be around $2,700 for the urinals alone, with additional costs for work and labor.

However, according to CHS Business Manager Lisa Wellek, the approval and funding for urinal dividers must come from the MCPS Department of Facilities Management, and not from the school alone because it is a modification of existing space.

For the implementation of dividers, our school must submit a Facility Project Request Form to the stated department. From there, the department determines whether the proposed project is within their budget and if it meets necessary qualifications, like improvements to safety and security.

Urinal dividers are a major improvement to a student’s safety and security. They secure the personal well-being of students and protect students from judgment, which can affect a student’s emotional status.

“If a project cannot be funded through the Department of Facilities Management, schools can identify alternate funding sources for consideration, such as proceeds from a fundraiser or the PTSA,” Wellek said.

Urinal dividers are the solution to almost every single problem a male unconsciously faces every single day they come to school. Formerly an underrated issue, I hope to create a change in the way the bathrooms here at CHS are used for our current and future student body.

So my message to the Department of Facilities Management and to our PTSA is this: with the help of urinal dividers, you can make an overwhelmingly positive impact on every single male student in the school system.