During mid-winter break, the gender neutral bathrooms, formerly located downstairs in the G-wing, were moved upstairs. After previous frustration about the bathroom, administration and students hope that moving the bathroom upstairs will increase its use and make it a safer space for students.
The seclusion of the new upstairs location gives students more privacy and a greater feeling of safety. “It is a more discrete, out of the way location–just about everyone agreed that we would feel safer if there weren’t a ton of people watching students go in and out,” said junior GSA member, Kai Doran. According to another GSA member, Serena Peters, the main issue with the downstairs bathroom was the fact that it was “pretty out in the open.” She continued, “If you go in, everybody sees you, so you’re basically outing yourself because it’s pretty exclusively used by cis men.”
Maeson Linnert, a GSA member, continued, stating that the previous bathroom “wasn’t being maintained” and was “really dirty.” In comparison, the upstairs bathroom is now far more sanitary.
Even though a lot of people are happier about the bathroom upstairs there are still some concerns. Linnert stated that “I know they said there would be some problems with monitoring the bathrooms. But I don’t feel like you have to monitor it- it’s a bathroom!” He continued saying that “It makes anybody who uses it feel weird because it feels like we sort of have to be protected when we don’t want that. We just want to feel normal.”
Doran added “The goal isn’t to be in everyone’s face about the restroom; honestly, the GSA just wanted to have a gender neutral option open and preferably more discrete, since the fear of harassment is just so prevalent in many of our members.”