Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Saturday, October 21, 2017

Gender neutral multi-stall bathroom added to second floor of Mary Graydon Center

Center for Diversity and Inclusion hopes to introduce more in SPA, SIS

Gender neutral multi-stall bathroom added to second floor of Mary Graydon Center

Gender neutral bathrooms can be found across campus, with the latest multi-stall bathroom being added to the second floor of the Mary Graydon Center. 

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion unveiled a new addition to the bathrooms on the second floor of the Mary Graydon Center: a sign reading “All-Gender Multistall Restroom.”

These restrooms are joining the list of other gender neutral bathrooms on campus, and are among the few that have more than one stall--a feature that many students have been waiting to see.

“It’s just more accessible to students. Oftentimes what happens is you have to wait a long time for it and it’s just not as convenient as having multistall bathrooms,” said Jeffrey Guzmán, a third year student who serves as president of Queers & Allies and a LGBTQ peer educator in CDI.

These bathrooms are just the beginning of CDI’s goal to increase accessibility of gender neutral spaces to students, said Kameron Winters, the coordinator of LGBTQ and Diversity Programs for CDI.

“The previous person in this role said that students complained about access to gender neutral restrooms, especially here in MGC because a lot of times the sign [at the single stall user downstairs] was torn down or was out of order,” Winters said.

The project took a few months and a more permanent sign has yet to be installed, which will educate bathroom users on proper etiquette and what a gender neutral bathroom is. However, Winters hopes to see this initiative expanded to other spaces on campus, specifically SIS, SPA and Bender Library.

Guzmán also hopes that gender neutral bathrooms will be expanded throughout campus, with at least one in every academic building. However, Winters will continue to monitor the success of those recently introduced in MGC before looking to install more on campus -- a goal that he is hopeful they will achieve.

“Bathrooms, I think, will always be continuous [work],” Winters said. “I haven’t heard any negativity and a lot of the students are really excited about this.”

Winters and his team are also looking to work with housing in their continued effort to make trans and nonbinary students feel more comfortable on campus, especially in roommate situations, an issue that Guzmán is also concerned with.

“One thing I’d like to see is more housing. Right now it’s only Roper and Clark that offer gender neutral housing, but I would love to see it expanded to other buildings on campus,” said Guzmán. “My problem with the buildings they have chosen is that they are not the most accessible buildings to students.”

The issue of accessibility continues to dominate conversations around gender neutral spaces and is a topic that Winters seeks to highlight when designating these spaces.

“At the end of the day, I want people to realize that it’s not about gender. It’s about people using the bathroom,” Winters said.

jgagnon@theeagleonline.com


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