SA’s Campus Services Committee presented their report on implementing all-gender restrooms in all campus buildings on River Campus during Feb. 24’s SA Senate meeting.
The report was largely informed by the experiences and safety concerns of transgender and non-binary students, who are according to the report frequently questioned when they use restrooms matching their gender identity.
“It really bothers me to be questioned why I am in the girl’s bathroom, when I am a girl,” one testimonial in the report reads. The testimonial adds that “all-gender restrooms would definitely help to relieve this problem.”
In an effort to foster inclusivity and accessibility, the committee recommends changes to the end that no person is ever more than a floor away from an all-gender restroom or gendered restroom.
Currently, River Campus has four multi-stall all-gender restrooms, which some say is insufficient to adequately meet the needs of students across campus.
While there are more single-stall all-gender restrooms, the report says these are frequently occupied and not always available for transgender or non-binary students.
All-gender restrooms not having showers is also a pressing concern in the report. First-year students living on the First-year Quad reported that “even though they were able to use a restroom in a safe environment, they were unable to shower in a safe environment.”
While the all-gender restrooms in Burton and Crosby have showers, the report highlights that students expressed concerns with lack of privacy in those areas thanks to gaps between doors and stalls. The committee provides solutions ($3 rubber strips to cover the gaps) for the University to address these issues.
The report also recommends the implementation of new all-gender restrooms on the first and third floors of residential buildings in the Quad (regarded as locations of critical concern) and pushes for 50% of Burton, Crosby, Susan B. Anthony Hall restrooms to be all-gender.
The report additionally calls for the designation of the restrooms outside Danforth Dining Hall as all-gender and for plans to be made to create an all-gender restroom fully accessible to all students at Douglass Dining Hall.
The committee also called for graduate school buildings to adhere to the recommendations detailed in the report in order to “maintain high standards of inclusivity.”
According to the report, problems regarding all-gender restrooms aren’t confined to the River Campus.
The report notes that Eastman School of Music students have raised similar concerns about the lack of all-gender restrooms, and suggests that the Eastman administration and SA look into the issue and strive for targets similar to those set for River Campus.
Based on student feedback, the building with the most frequent requests for more all-gender restrooms is Wilson Commons, with Wegmans Hall and Goergen Hall also being among the buildings with the highest need.
Due to the pressing nature of the need for all-gender restrooms, the report says, the University is encouraged to begin implementing these recommendations soon.
Correction (3/4/20): The term “gender-nonconforming” was replaced with the term “non-binary.” “Gender-nonconforming” refers to someone who does not follow typical gender expressions or roles. “Non-binary” describes a person whose gender does not fit into the categories of male and female.