The University of St. Francis is constantly changing and evolving as the needs of students evolve.
There are many resources made available to students that allow for a more inclusive and welcoming experience on campus, but there is always room for constructive criticism that the staff accommodates as much as possible. With students advocating for themselves, there is always a plan for what can be added to create a more beneficial learning, and living, environment. One thing students have been advocating for most recently is better access to gender neutral bathrooms.
A gender neutral bathroom is a bathroom that can be used by a person of any gender identity or sex. Gender neutral bathrooms are a growing necessity on campus for those who may not feel comfortable in a gender specific bathroom. That can be a person who is transgender or someone who does not identify with either gender.
Though gender neutral bathrooms are a space that is frequently associated with the queer population, they can be used by anyone. Gender neutral bathrooms are also accessible to those with disabilities. This allows for more inclusivity and accessibility on our own campus.
Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) President Mars Angulo explains the limited gender neutral bathrooms available on campus.
“We currently have seven gender neutral bathrooms on the main campus,” Angulo said. “Two of which are not easily accessible. They sit in the dressing rooms in the auditorium.”
Angulo explains that in addition to these two gender neutral bathrooms being in inconvenient places, the others are not easy to find and in places that could potentially cause misgendering, or pushing someone to utilize a bathroom that they do not feel comfortable in.
“The others are difficult to find,” Angulo said. “Especially if you are a new or incoming student.”
On behalf of GSA, Angulo proposed this at a Student Government Association meeting, even going as far as to recommend locations where these gender neutral bathrooms could be introduced, one being in the Marian Hall dorms. As the legislation makes its way to faculty with the capabilities to move it forward, be on the lookout for more inclusivity on campus.
Disclaimer: Mars Angulo is a Staff Writer for the USF Encounter, and was not involved in the reporting, writing, or editing of this article.