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UPDATED: CSUN gender-neutral single use restrooms to be publicized

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Director Sally Spencer, faculty representative, discusses the benefits from implementing gender neutral restrooms during USU board meeting Monday. Photo Credit: Katie Grayot / Daily Sundial

>>>UPDATE 4:50 p.m. Sept. 28: The University Student Union (USU) will actively promote four single-occupancy restrooms in its facility, following a decision by the USU board of directors Monday.

“In creating a gender neutral restroom we can provide an inclusive location for
students,” the original proposal read. “By creating a gender neutral restroom the
USU hopes to eliminate some of the obstacles students face as part of our campus
community.”

The board opted not to construct or designate new restrooms or ones labeled gender neutral at this time. Instead, four single use stalls will be promoted as alternatives to usual men’s/women’s restrooms, said Jason Wang, USU associate executive director.

The USU has jurisdiction over its facility and the Satellite Student Union (SSU), and two of the space’s single use stalls are gender neutral.

Gender neutral restrooms are comprised of individual stalls and a common area to
wash hands, they are accessible by everyone and designated for one person to use at time, he said.

There are two single-occupancy stalls in the Nordhoff Center, Wang said. They were
renovated from dressing rooms into gender neutral restrooms in January 2011.

The other two stalls are in the USU’s E-Building, across from the Fitness Center and
next to the pool, he said. But they are not specifically labeled as gender neutral.

 

>>>ORIGINAL: CSUN will soon begin advertising gender-neutral restrooms after a decision by the USU board of directors.

CSUN’s queer community has advocated for gender neutrality in campus bathrooms, expressing the desire to safely use facilities on campus, said Alex Shelton Koontz, senior deaf studies major and a founder of Gamma Rho Lambda, the only queer-based sorority on campus.

New bathrooms will be advertised through banners on the USU webpage, signs on campus and sandwich boards around the USU, said Sabrina Lockey, facilities and commercial services committee chair.

During Monday’s board of directors meeting, some board members said they feared harassment might be sparked from restrooms where male, female and transgender students all used the same facilities and were able to enter the same area at the same time.

Anxiety comes with using a restroom for transgendered students and others, Koontz said. People that are not transgendered, but do not physically fit a gender stereotype have been misidentified in the past, which could lead to altercations ending in the individual being removed from the restroom, or become violent.

Responses to a survey asking students if they would be comfortable using gender-neutral restrooms were split, said Samantha Liu, information services and special projects coordinator for the USU.

CSUN officials are aware of one school in the country that has created gender-neutral restrooms, in Oberlin, Ohio, said Jason Wang, USU associate executive director.

“The school wasn’t very descriptive on how the bathrooms were being used,” Wang said. “They were used appropriately and had gender restrooms next door for people that were uncomfortable.”

Koontz said he was happy to hear about the decision to advertise the restrooms because the only gender neutral bathroom he was aware of is in the Women’s Center.

There are also two gender neutral bathrooms in the Northridge Center.

“The (rooms) were initially created for performances as a dressing room but eventually became gender neutral bathrooms instead,” Wang said.

20 Comments

  1. CSUN- Correct Info Sep 28, 2011

    In the article, it states that the USU will begin advertising gender neutral restrooms on campus.  My understanding is that the board agreed to advertise and identify single use restrooms throughout the USU, not gender neutral restrooms. They are two different things:

     A single use restroom is one that men, women, or transgender could use one at a time. ONE AT A TIME.  

    A gender neutral restroom is a large restroom with multiple stalls and shared sinks where men, women or transgender could all use at the same time. Gender neutral bathrooms are not currently at the USU.

    The article is kind of confusing, but my comment includes the correct information.  

  2. Alex Shelton Koontz Sep 28, 2011

    i would just like to say that the only people who are complaining about this are males, so obviously there is some self confidence issues going on here. 

    1. That’s absurd.  Are you a wanna-be amateur psychologist?  Please explain your analysis there, Doc.

    2. Old Glory Sep 28, 2011

      Don’t like

  3. Ask54 Sep 27, 2011

    I am so happy to hear this. When I served on the Board of Directors for the University Student Union, I chaired the Facilities & Commercial Services Committee and wrote the proposal for the Gender Neutral Bathrooms. So proud to be a Matador Alumna right now!

    Below is an excerpt from the proposal:

    CSUN is an urban campus with a diverse student body; the USU
    aims to be the premier location for students to feel safe and included. In
    creating a gender neutral restroom we can provide an inclusive option for
    students who identify as transgender or those who do not identify or are not
    able/willing to use mainstream Men’s/Women’s restrooms; including the LGBT
    community and parents or caretakers of children of the opposite gender.  These students are often scrutinized or
    subjected to both verbal and physical harassment in choosing the ‘wrong’
    restroom. By creating a gender neutral restroom the USU hopes to eliminate some
    of the obstacles that some students face as part of our campus community.

  4. Alex Shelton Koontz Sep 27, 2011

    its for the safety and freedom of all gender non conforming people on campus. if you dont want to use them, fine, but myself as a transgender student on campus am welcoming this. i just want to pee in peace.

    1. Old Glory Sep 28, 2011

      Are you attacked? What safety? I don’t understand. Really, explain to me the dangers of using a regular bathroom.

  5. Anonymous Sep 27, 2011

    David,

    According to the article, some transgender students are being misidentified as either male or female when entering a gender-specific bathroom.  This, according to the article, is causing these transgender students to be placed in a situation, “…which could lead to altercations ending in the individual being removed from the restroom, or become violent.”

    I am a male and I dress like one.  What happens if I decide to use a gender-neutral bathroom?  Will I be confronted with violence and removed from the gender-neutral restroom?  Will I be required to show my “proof” that I qualify to use the fender-neutral restroom?  Is all of this necessary just so someone can “pee” comfortably?   

    1. This, according to the article, is causing these transgender students to
      be placed in a situation, “…which could lead to altercations ending
      in the individual being removed from the restroom, or become violent.”

      Someone should check with the police department to see if ever in the history of CSUN there’s been an incident in which this has occurred.  I see an ulterior motive here.

      1. Nicki Viso Sep 29, 2011

        Your statement assumes that every crime that has happened on CSUN’s campus has been reported.  This is simply not the case, David.

        Violence against the gender non-conforming community is a very real threat.  I suggest googling it and see for yourself how dangerous it could be for members of that community to use a bathroom.

        I understand why you don’t get it, David.  Unless it is something you have to actively think about, it is hard to imagine that this would be an issue.

        1. No, my statement assumes that if this was a problem that there would be at least one police report on file.  If the LGBT community is so victimized certainly its members would encourage each other to file police reports.

  6. Old Glory Sep 27, 2011

    Engineering the perfect society for all. Yeah….right. Just continuing the stereotype of colleges being so far left they are out of touch with reality.  

  7. guest Sep 27, 2011

    This whole idea is absurd.  Just wait until someone get raped or assaulted in one of these restrooms.

    1. Ask54 Sep 27, 2011

      Don’t go getting any ideas there, buddy. Most rapes and assaults happen from an intimate attacker, likely someone the victim/survivor already knows.

      1. guest Sep 28, 2011

        Why are you telling me “not to get any ideas?”  You’ve got a lot of nerve to imply something like that.  You’re the one who stated “These students are often scrutinized or subjected to both verbal and physical harassment in choosing the ‘wrong’ restroom.” 

        My point is that recently there have been a number of highly-publicized incidents of sexual assaults by males against females in the FEMALE restrooms at local community colleges.  I fail to see how this absurd restroom arrangement that you proposed has made the campus safer for ANYONE.

    2. CSUN- Correct Info Sep 28, 2011

      In the article, it states that the USU will begin advertising gender neutral restrooms on campus.  My understanding is that the board agreed to advertise and identify single use restrooms throughout the USU, not gender neutral restrooms. They are two different things:  A single use restroom is one that men, women, or transgender could use one at a time. ONE AT A TIME.  A gender neutral restroom is a large restroom with multiple stalls and shared sinks where men, women or transgender could all use at the same time. Gender neutral bathrooms are not currently at the USU.The article is kind of confusing, but my comment includes the correct information.

      1. guest Sep 28, 2011

        Thank you for the correct information.  Similar-type single use restrooms are already in use at many amusement parks and I think that’s a fine idea.

      2. Old Glory Sep 29, 2011

        Yeah, I don’t have a problem with single use restrooms. But don’t advertise it as a gender neutral restroom. Thanks for the info. 

  8. Will someone please explain why it’s important to have gender-neutral toilets?  I don’t get it.

    1. Adam Sep 29, 2011

      Some people do not feel comfortable going into either the marked mens or womens bathrooms. It is also more private. The campus already has a few of these bathrooms on campus and I have seen people use them. Some people that I saw appeared to be elderly or have physical disabilies, and I think that these bathrooms cater to their needs as well. How would you feel if there was no bathroom for you on campus?

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