In a resolution passed on Monday, Feb. 2, Students’ Association (SA) Senate advocated for the development of all-gender restrooms on the River Campus. The resolution was written by SA Senator and Chair of the Academics Committee Stephen Wegman, a sophomore, and senior David Markakis.

All-gender restrooms are usually single-user facilities that can be used by people of any gender identity. On campus, all-gender restrooms are currently available on the third floor of Wilson Commons and O’Brien Hall, but do not exist in most residence halls or academic buildings. All-gender restrooms are distinguished from other single-user facilities by their open, inclusive signage.

The resolution notes that “students and University affiliates of all gender identities and expressions deserve to have access to safe and inclusive restrooms,” but that all-gender restrooms are currently “extremely limited” on campus. To remedy this, SA Senate recommended taking all-gender facilities into account prior to the construction of new buildings.

Wegman noted that a Senate resolution does not reflect any commitment by the University administration, but rather puts forward a request by the student body.

“We certainly intend to advocate for the creation of all-gender restrooms in new buildings and facilities,” Wegman said. He added that most residence halls, especially Susan B. Anthony Hall and the Residence Quad, do not have any single-use restrooms.

“The most likely solution is having halls choose what gender they want their restroom to be,” Wegman said. He said that academic buildings would present the biggest challenge, because it would be difficult to build new facilities or relabel existing bathrooms in those areas. Lattimore Hall, for example, has men’s and women’s restrooms on alternating floors.

Wegman’s co-author David Markakis said in an email, “The goal of the resolution is to help create a welcoming, inclusive, and safe environment on campus for all students.” He credited his involvement with the College Feminists, as well as a UR course on LGBTQ Issues in Education, with making him aware of the need for “inclusive bathroom spaces.”

The Senate has scheduled a meeting with University Facilities and Services to discuss implementation of the resolution, and Markakis said he hopes to be involved in the process. The resolution mentions future conversations with the Office of the President, the Board of Trustees and the Office of Advancement. Wegman said the Senate also planned to meet with Residential Life and Athletics to discuss bathrooms in their respective facilities.

Passanisi is a member of

the class of 2017.

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