The University is committed to ensuring that the campus is welcoming, respectful, and accessible to all. Three years ago a planning group came together to discuss how to address the lack of facilities for the many University students and employees who are Muslim and need to have the ability to wash their feet several times in the course of the day. Lacking proper facilities, some people have resorted to using conventional restroom sinks, which is difficult to do and presents safety issues for all users.
To better meet this need, three existing spaces have been renovated to provide places to sit, paper towel dispensers, and floor sinks. These spaces provide convenience to members of the University community who need to wash their feet or desire privacy. They are all multi-use and open to everyone.
The facilities are located in Mayo Room G200-6, which opened in fall 2017; 208 Coffman Union; and Room 16 in the St. Paul Student Center. The facilities in the student unions were approved by the Student Union and Activities Board of Governors on November 30, 2017 and opened in April 2018. All three are identified with signage that includes the universal signs for washing hands and feet.
The addition of these spaces is part of a larger effort to meet the diverse needs of the campus community. This fall several new or expanded food options became available, including kosher, halal, vegan, and vegetarian offerings. Read more about these options and continued progress on gender-neutral restrooms and lactation spaces in this related story.