Everybody Gets a Diaper Deck!

Where it all began

babychangingstationsonline-comIn March 2015, we shared with you Ashton Kutcher’s campaign to increase support for dads. Ashton started a Change.org petition which received over 104,000 supporters. In the petition, he shared:

“As a new dad, I recently learned an unfortunate reality about changing diapers while out in public with a child. Almost all public changing tables are in women’s bathrooms, which makes it nearly impossible to find a table that’s accessible to dads. As crazy as it sounds, many stores don’t give dads the option to change their babies’ diapers. It’s 2015, families are diverse, and it is an injustice to assume it’s only a woman’s job to handle changing diapers. This assumption is gender stereotyping and companies should be supporting all parents that shop at their stores equally – no matter their gender. Changing tables in men’s rooms will be a tiny step in the long process of rectifying the legacy of gender discrimination, but it’s a step we need to take. Dads, like myself, want to participate equally in the child care process and our society should support that.”

The petition succeeded! It opened up a dialogue with Costco and Target to increase accessibility to these resources. Costco promised to provide Family Restroom options in new warehouses, and Target promised to include diaper changing stations (aka diaper decks) in women’s, men’s and family restrooms in new stores.

Government Action

Our politicians must have noticed this change in conversation. Representative David Cicilline introduced the BABIES Act on April 29, 2016. This act became law on October 10, 2016. Here’s what it provides:

Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation (BABIES) Act

This bill requires male and female restrooms in a public building to be equipped with baby changing facilities that the General Services Administration determines are physically safe, sanitary, and appropriate.

Such requirement shall be subject to any reasonable accommodations that may be made for individuals in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Such requirement shall be inapplicable to a restroom in a public building that: (1) is not available for public use, or (2) contains clear and conspicuous signage indicating where a male or female restroom is located within the same section or corridor of such building.

In a statement on his website, Rep. David Cicillline (sponsor) stated:

“Federal buildings are paid for by taxpayers, and it’s important to ensure that they are as open, as accessible, and as family-friendly as possible. With this new law now in effect, Social Security offices, Post Office buildings, and courthouses will be more accommodating for working moms and dads in Rhode Island and across the country.

I thank President Obama for moving swiftly to sign this commonsense proposal into law, and I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in Congress for coming together to get the job done. This is how government should work to make commonsense reforms that make life easier for the people we serve.”

Prior to this law, there had been zero federal laws regarding diaper changing tables. Now to be clear, the BABIES Act will only impact bathrooms in government-owned or government-financed buildings (e.g. public libraries, court houses). But it is a first step toward reducing the indignity that parents frequently face when trying to care for their babies in bathroom stalls. However, we hope to see these actions set a positive example for our communities and local business owners.

Changing College Campuses

Thanks to this new legislation, we are already seeing a change on college campuses! This Wednesday (October 12th), University of New Mexico student leader, Sade Patterson, introduced her resolution to Associated Students of UNM senators to challenge the school to provide diaper changing stations in all public restrooms on campus. The resolution referenced New Mexico’s HB 538, a law which requires that “baby diaper-changing stations be equally available to men and women in restroom facilities in a place of public accommodation.” And with the recent passing of the BABIES Act, it is no surprise that this resolution passed.

sade-unm-proposal-passed

EVERYBODY GETS A DIAPER DECK

Let’s just say that our Pregnant on Campus team is a little (*okay, super) excited to see these changing attitudes and action sweeping the country on behalf of parents everywhere. We encourage your group to take up the charge as well by proposing new diaper changing stations for your school. See our activity guide here: Diaper Changing Stations.

Contact your SFLA Regional Coordinator for support and advice as you push forward your proposal.

oprah-you-get-a-diaper-deck

 

 

This post was contributed by Beth Rahal, Pregnant on Campus Director. If you would like to share your group success or a personal story, please contact Beth at brahal@studentsforlife.org

Read our previous post on this issue:

Ashton Kutcher’s Crusade

 

Ashton Kutcher’s Crusade

Photo Credit: Change.org

Photo Credit: Change.org

We know that young student moms face the frustrating situation of not having enough parenting resources on college campuses. But what about our dads? Too often, we forget to acknowledge the great role that our men play in raising and caring for our children. Increasing resources for both parents provides greater opportunities for our parenting students to properly care for their kids—and to get an education!

Now let’s take a moment to consider this issue beyond our college campuses. How often do you see changing tables in public women’s restrooms? Pretty frequently, right? But what about men’s restrooms? It seems that many stores and public venues forget that dads also have to pitch in with the diapers!

If you’ve been huffing and puffing about this frustrating lack of resources for dad, you aren’t alone. But never fear— Ashton Kutcher is here!

Ashton Kutcher’s Changing Table Crusade

Hollywood celebrity, Ashton Kutcher, is sounding the alarms about the lack of diaper changing tables in men’s public restrooms. In recent Facebook rants, Ashton let the world know that he’s fed up.

On March 8th, Ashton posted, “There are NEVER diaper changing stations in mens public restrooms. The first public men’s room that I go into that has one gets a free shout out on my FB page! ‪#‎BeTheChange‬”

 

Ashton K- March 8 FB post

 

 

 

 

 

A week later, he was posting again about his frustrations. “It seems this idea of diaper changing stations has struck a chord. It’s a pet peeve of mine when people just complain about s*** and don’t do anything to improve their condition. So lets do something. In for equality? Pass it on – ‪#‎LeanInTogether”

Ashton K- March 16 FB post

 

Now, Ashton is on a crusade to make change happen. Ashton is working with Change.org to encourage Target and Costco to provide diaper changing tables in the men’s restrooms at their stores.

In his petition, Ashton shares the following message:

As a new dad, I recently learned an unfortunate reality about changing diapers while out in public with a child. Almost all public changing tables are in women’s bathrooms, which makes it nearly impossible to find a table that’s accessible to dads. As crazy as it sounds, many stores don’t give dads the option to change their babies’ diapers.

It’s 2015, families are diverse, and it is an injustice to assume it’s only a woman’s job to handle changing diapers. This assumption is gender stereotyping and companies should be supporting all parents that shop at their stores equally – no matter their gender.

Changing tables in men’s rooms will be a tiny step in the long process of rectifying the legacy of gender discrimination, but it’s a step we need to take. Dads, like myself, want to participate equally in the child care process and our society should support that.

Target and Costco have proven themselves time and time again to be companies that honor diversity, support families, and provide great services to kids of all ages. That is why I am calling on them to be the change. As leaders in their industry, they can initiate a company-wide policy to provide universally accessible changing tables in their stores. 

If Target and Costco take this step, I know that other companies will follow suit and recognize that we should be supporting all parents equally. 

#BeTheChange

#LeanInTogether

The Public Responds

So far, over 86,000 people have signed the petition. A Target representative has responded to the challenge. However, there has not yet been a public statement from Costco.

Hi Ashton,

We appreciate the interest. As you’ve noted, at Target we are absolutely committed to creating a family-friendly environment and accommodating the needs of our guests. For the convenience of all of our guests, we have made changing tables a standard feature in both our men’s and women’s restrooms for more than 25 years. In addition, as we build new stores, we place changing tables in our women’s, men’s and family restrooms. In the event a changing table is unavailable, we encourage our guests to notify a team member and we will be happy to offer an alternative private location to meet their needs.

Molly Snyder
Target Public Relations

What You Can Do

The first step to making change happen is to speak out. Don’t sit back and wait for your campus to change. You have to be the one to step out, raise your voice, and actively address problems on your campus. Like Ashton, you can challenge your college community to provide more changing tables for parenting students. Here’s a guide for how you can do this project on your campus: Diaper Changing Stations.

You can also check out our recent post, Take Action on Your Campus, to learn helpful tips for engaging and equipping your campus to be more supportive of pregnant and parenting students.

 

This post was contributed by Beth Rahal, Pregnant on Campus Coordinator. If you would like more information about how you can get invovled with the Pregnant on Campus Initiative, please email Beth at brahal@studentsforlife.org

Win a Diaper Deck!

Change the worldThanks to the generosity of Diaper Deck & Co., Students for Life of America (SFLA) is introducing a new national award at this year’s SFLA 2014 National Conference. The Pregnant on Campus Group of the Year Award will recognize the achievements of one Students for Life group that has excelled in promoting pregnant and parenting resources. The SFLA Pregnant on Campus Group of the Year should demonstrate success in pregnant and parenting advocacy and outreach on their college campus. This group should show significant efforts to change their campus to embrace practices and policies that protect and assist pregnant and parenting students.

This year’s prize is a diaper deck, donated by Diaper Deck & Co. This prize is an excellent reflection of the goals of the Pregnant on Campus Initiative in that it allows the winning group to provide a tangible resource for their school community. SFLA  will provide the installation costs for the winning group!

Has your group made great efforts on your campus to change the culture and support pregnant and parenting students? Yes? Then you should apply!

Applications are due no later than January 15, 2014, and at least 1 group representative must be present at 2014 National Conference to receive the award. Please email completed applications to Beth O’Malley at bomalley@studentsforlife.org

APPLY TODAY!