SQUAT toilets should be considered for new buildings, says a leading pathologist who has had to instruct his staff in correct use of western toilets.
SA Pathology research director Professor Heddy Zola says it is probably time Adelaide acknowledged the cultural needs of its large migrant population. Squat toilets, also known as Nile pans, are preferred in parts of Asia and Europe. "In the research environment, the native-born Australian is a rarity," Professor Zola said. "We do very well with our immigrant population.
"I'm a migrant myself and we do need to accommodate them." In his monthly research newsletter, he has included a page on "toilet etiquette", which includes a diagram, with a cross through it, of a stick figure standing on a toilet seat.
The instructions also include an appeal not to throw water on the floor. He said there had been a recurring problem with the state of the toilets in his IMVS building, on Frome Rd.
At one stage, a PhD student had cleaned up after others to spare the cleaners the task. "I think it's a mixture of cultural differences and just people not giving a damn about who comes after them,'' Professor Zola said. He said it would be "sensible" to install squats in new buildings, especially those used by large numbers of migrant students and staff.
"I wouldn't be surprised if in 30 years' time, all buildings had to have both styles,'' he said. The University of Adelaide has "culturally sensitive amenities" to cater for students and staff from more than 90 countries, a spokeswoman told The Advertiser.
"We have prayer rooms with culturally appropriate ablutions at both Union House and Nexus10 as well as squat toilets in the Ingkarni Wardli building," she said.
"It is important to consider culturally sensitive amenities as part of building development planning. "Feedback from occupants and visitors alike is invariably positive and it further reinforces the university's values of inclusivity and tolerance." Flinders University also has installed squat toilets and special washrooms.
UniSA has none but has recognised a problem and placed signs on cubicle doors, asking users not to stand on seats.
The new South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute building on North Terrace does not have squat toilets.
Yep. they can't use a western toilet so we need to cater for a very very very small minority.