State finds CCC’s locker rooms promote inequality

Female athletes at Clackamas Community College have worse facilities than their male peers, according to a review by the Oregon Department of Education.

The ODE recommended that CCC “provide comparable facilities for both women’s and men’s locker and team rooms,” but it’s been two years since the review took place and nothing has changed.

CCC had a routine review of its procedures and facilities in November 2012, when the ODE conducted a “Civil Rights Career and Technical Education Onsite Review.” The point of this review was to make sure that CCC is meeting civil rights standards such as providing equal opportunities for students and employees regardless of gender, race or disability.

The ODE then released a report of findings, which includes descriptions of the areas where CCC is noncompliant and recommendations for corrective action.

One area that the investigation covered was “Comparable Facilities,” which included a review of the men’s and women’s locker rooms. The report of findings states that, “CCC has a men’s locker room, a men’s team room, and a combination women’s locker/team room. The facilities are not comparable in size or amenities. The men’s locker room and team room are allotted twice the amount of space as the women’s locker/team room.”

According to Bob Cochran, Dean of Campus Services, the college has been waiting to address the issue until they knew whether the CCC bond measure would pass or not. “We asked the state if we could defer that until the bond passage,” said Cochran.

Since Clackamas County voters did pass the $90 million bond measure on Nov. 4, money should no longer be an issue for updating the locker rooms. Interim Health and PE Director Jim Martineau said that there have been no design plans done yet, but “Locker room remodel is on the list of projects to be done with the passing of the bond.”

There are currently five men’s sports teams and six women’s teams at CCC. On last year’s initial eligibility rosters there were 81 male athletes and 78 female athletes, according to Martineau, who also said he expects similar numbers this year.

With a similar headcount as the men yet only half the space allotted to them, one might assume that female athletes would be upset to learn about this inequality and eager for change, but it seems that the issue might not even be on their radars.

“I guess I don’t have a huge opinion about it,” said Cassidy Scott, a freshman Volleyball player. “The women’s locker rooms never really have a ton of people anyway, so it’s never been super crowded.”

Female coaches at CCC did not voice concern about the issue either. The Print reached out to five different female coaches asking for interviews and three of them did not respond at all, while the other two declined to comment. Volleyball coach Kathie Woods said, “No, I don’t have any issues on that. I would rather talk to someone from The Print regarding the best volleyball season at CCC in 18 years.”

If this issue doesn’t seem to be bothering female coaches or athletes, is it a non-issue? Maybe, but aside from the fact that the ODE found it problematic, it could also be effecting enrollment. Martineau said, “Outdated locker rooms and facilities make it harder to attract and recruit potential students/athletes.”

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