VERMILLION, S.D. — Students at the University of South Dakota’s law school say there aren’t enough bathrooms for women.
The law school has about half the bathroom options for women as it does for men, yet women make up more than 40 percent of the law school’s roughly 200 students, the Argus Leader reported .
Students have voiced concerns about long lines for stalls during 10-minute breaks between classes.
“Some professors won’t allow you to leave class while they’re teaching, so if you miss going to the bathroom in that break because it’s so backlogged, you’re kind of out of luck,” said Sara Little, a law student.
The issue came up last week during a meeting of the task force that is considering whether to relocate the school from Vermillion to Sioux Falls.
Morgan Nelson, a task force member and a third-year law student, advocated for making recommendations to address the lack of women’s bathroom facilities.
But the task force’s chairman, Rep. Mark Mickelson, R-Sioux Falls, said it’s not the panel’s job to decide if the school needs to “put up walls or add toilets.”
“I was kind of disappointed that the discussion was kind of laughed off as something beneath our committee. … It seems like a very base need,” Nelson said.
Nelson said that while the number of toilets may seem like a minor issue, it can send a bad message to women who apply to the law school.
“If I were a prospective student, the message would be clear that our building is not updated and is behind the times,” she said.
Tena Haraldson, the school’s director of marketing, said she’s not sure if bathrooms are on the school’s 10-year building plan but that doesn’t mean they won’t be added.
“If bathrooms haven’t been addressed and everyone decides that’s an issue, I’m sure it’ll be addressed,” Haraldson said.
Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com