Diapers in the Pit?
Student parents are forced to find other places to change their children
Article: Rikkeal Bohmann – News Editor
This past year, the University of Regina has created Wudu stations in bathrooms and gender-neutral bathrooms. Some students are arguing that still more accessibility needs to happen on campus though.
Ashleigh Delange, the President of the Student Parents Association at the U of R (URSPA), says student parents face many struggles. One challenge has been being forced to change her child in the Administration Humanities pit, due to the lack of change tables on campus.
“When my daughter was younger, it was kind of horrible, because you’d have to change her and you’d get kind of weird looks and stuff. Especially if she has a pretty stinky diaper, and then it’s doubly embarrassing.”
This can particularly affects breastfeeding mothers, who need to feed while at school. Delange came back to school when her daughter was about six months old, and she needed to be brought to school quite a bit for feeding.
With no change tables available for moms and dads of the university, Delange sees a real need for change tables to be brought onto campus. She would like to see change tables brought to vital areas of the school that students use a lot, such as the library area.
Facilities management at the university prides itself on its work on making the campus more accessible for students. Nelson Wagner, Vice-President of Facilities Management, says that change tables should be in places that are used by the public, because the university is a public space.
“It seems to make sense, and it’s perhaps one that hadn’t dawned on us.”
Wagner goes on to say that change tables just weren’t part of the campus’ original plan.
“It’s something we perhaps didn’t anticipate. When we did our campus plan for example, hold forums and stuff like that, what do you like, what don’t you like, and that’s one that didn’t come up to us, but it’s a good questions and I think it’s one that deserves attention.”
Having students self-identify as parents on their applications coming into university as well is something Delange would like to see. This way, the university would be aware of more student parent issues that could potentially keep more parents in school.
“They ask on your application whether you are male or female. I would think whether you’re a parent or not is more important is more important than your gender is.”
URSPA would like to connect with other groups on campus, so they are more connected to the university.
Wagner said they will definitely be looking into putting change tables on campus. Until then, parents will have to continue looking at different options for places to change their children.