Before I begin, I would like to say I fully understand that there are many pressing issues on Miami's campus right now. Sexual assault and race relations are two that come to mind, and both these issues take precedence over my petty concerns.
Since the First Amendment exists, though, and I have been given this platform, here are my petty concerns.
I need to address an issue for the men of Miami University -- one that deals with our right to privacy in the restroom. One which centers around our right to use the urinal and not have our genitalia exposed to the men beside us.
This issue is the lack of partitions in between the urinals on campus.
The restrooms at Miami have a shockingly low number of partitions in between the urinals, and by "low," I mean there aren't any. Just look in the bathrooms in academic buildings such as Harrison and Upham Halls, or in residence halls such as Havighurst.
I would really appreciate it if every time I went to the bathroom, I did not have to expose little Ben to the world.
It's not like I'm standing far away from the urinals. In most cases, I am pressed right up against them in order to not expose myself. However, this only solves the issue part of the time.
In some buildings, the bowls of the urinals are only two feet off the ground. This means I would have to do a squat in order to not expose myself, and I am not about to squat for my privacy. These urinals are also extremely close to each other, which makes the situation worse.
Aside from the fear that the gentleman next to me is staring at my genitalia, the lack of partitions, quite simply, creates awkward situations in the bathroom. There have been multiple times when I've walked into a bathroom without partitions between the urinals, and used the stall to avoid an awkward interaction with the only other person in the bathroom.
I fully understand that there are a lot more pressing concerns that need to be addressed. But this seems like a simple and cheap fix, which would make a lot of people really happy.
A stainless-steel urinal divider can be purchased on Amazon for $119.99, and a plastic one as low as $95. Of course, there are differences in price depending on the size of the partition, but in this case, size truly does not matter. The material doesn't even matter. Miami could literally put pieces of cardboard in between its urinals, and I would be satisfied.
The lack of partitions in between urinals is not just an issue at Miami. Go to any major-league sports stadium, arena or concert venue and you will witness the sheer lack of partitions.
The lack of consideration by not putting dividers in between urinals is up there with taking away legroom on airplanes and making women pay for tampons in public restrooms. These tactics do not take the general population into consideration, and are simply done by businesses to cut down costs and put money in their pockets.