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MONDAY, JANUARY 23, 2006
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EDITORIAL

Restroom construction is catching up with reality

Who among us has not been part of this scene at a stadium, auditorium or theater: Women form long lines to get into their restrooms, while men move in and out of theirs quickly, with short waiting lines or none at all.

Studies show that on average women spend twice as much time in a restroom as men, according to The Christian Science Monitor, which reports that there is a growing movement nicknamed "potty parity."

Evolving construction standards around the world are saying that women should have two or three times as many "outlets" as men, the newspaper reports. The old thinking was equal square footage, but that produces unequal results.

George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf says about a dozen state and local jurisdictions across the country have passed laws requiring higher ratios of women's toilets to men's in new construction. He wants to make it a federal issue, filing complaints arguing that ignoring potty parity is sex discrimination.

Auburn University Athletics Director Jay Jacobs brought up the subject in an interview with THE DAILY published Sunday. In the current renovation of Jordan-Hare Stadium, Mr. Jacobs said, "the ladies will see three times as many restrooms as we've ever had."

Potty parity makes sense at public facilities where large crowds will be using the facilities during short periods of time. It's only fair. We would hope that those who plan renovation and construction will do like Auburn and recognize this, whether the law requires it or not.

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