The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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The past, present, and future of CSUN’s gender-neutral restrooms

Courtesy of CSUN website
Gender-inclusive restroom locations on campus.

CSUN has a history of implementing inclusive restrooms. California is becoming the first state to mandate gender-neutral bathrooms on school grounds, so the topic of CSUN expanding its restrooms is in the public’s consciousness.

Gender-neutral restrooms (also referred to as “all-gender restrooms” or “gender-inclusive restrooms”) have become a topic of much debate in recent years, especially in relation to school and college campuses. In September, Senate Bill 760 was signed into law by Gavin Newsom. The bill requires California public schools (K-12) to install gender-neutral bathrooms by 2026.

According to the bill, “Pupils are most likely to achieve their potential in welcoming educational environments and educational opportunities should be accessible to pupils regardless of their gender identities.”

While the senate bill’s stipulations don’t apply directly to college campuses, it does highlight that there is currently a need for more gender-neutral restrooms in educational institutions, a matter that CSUN has some history with.

CSUN started building gender-neutral restrooms over a decade ago, when the University Student Union began promoting them in 2011. These were predominantly single-occupancy restrooms, meaning only one student could use them at a time.

Today, there are 65 gender-neutral restrooms spread out between numerous buildings at CSUN. Many of these are located near the Pride Center in the eastern portion of the campus. Much of the northern part of the university is devoid of such restrooms.

CSUN has a webpage that gives the exact number and location of these gender-neutral buildings. According to Noah Rubin, the director of design and construction at CSUN, newer buildings like the currently-under-construction Maple Hall are built with gender-neutral restrooms in mind and will host 12 of them.

“The easiest way to make change is through new construction, as the building is already being built,” Rubin said. “The hard way is converting an already existing restroom.”

According to Ren Stone, the Pride Center supervisor, the push for more gender-neutral restrooms existed long before the recent bill, and all future buildings constructed on campus will likely include some.

“I think that the university has committed to making sure that every new building that’s built has a gender-inclusive bathroom.” Stone said. “And I think that, even with that, there are still facilities that don’t meet that requirement.”

Students showed support for further expanding the amount of gender-neutral restrooms in light of the recent passing of Bill 760.

Sierra Snodgrass, a sociology major, believes that gender-neutral restrooms would help avoid potential conflicts.

“I think it’s difficult for some people,” Snodgrass said. “They have problems with certain people going into the restrooms. So, I think it’d be easier if there were a gender-neutral one. So then people couldn’t complain about it, because it’s for anyone.”

Marck Hernandez, a criminology major, echoed similar sentiments, believing that having more gender-neutral restrooms would be convenient.

“I would say that there is definitely nothing wrong with adding more,” Hernandez said. “I could see only positives. In my job — I work at a restaurant — it’s, like, a lot of different genders. A lot of men and women. So it’s easy to get to the all-gender restrooms; it’s not a hassle.”

According to College Pride, CSUN is one of 47 universities in California that publicly advertises its gender-neutral restrooms on its website. This is a sign that CSUN intends to be a safe and welcoming place for all its students.

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