Students leave the the Behavioral and Social Science bathrooms on the first floor on Feb. 13 . One of the closest gender neutral bathroom to BSS is in the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology. Photo by Megan Bender

How neutral are the gender neutral restrooms?


Critical race, gender and sexuality studies majors have the daunting task of climbing to the top of the Behavioral & Social Sciences building. This is a battle most Humboldt State students know too well.

Anybody who has made the hike up would hope there is a place for them at the top to relieve themselves, regardless of their gender identity.

However, the BSS building has been left out of the loop when it comes to gender-neutral bathrooms on our campus.

For students who don’t feel comfortable using the gendered restrooms, the closest one to the BSS is in the CCAT building, which is not very close.

“It is not possible for students to have to go across campus between classes and still be on time,” HSU professor Loren Cannon said.

Cannon’s office is on the fifth floor of BSS. He was confused as to why there was not one gender-neutral bathroom in the building.

“There are at least four bathrooms on every floor. I don’t think it would be very difficult for the school to put one here,” Cannon said.

The BSS building is not the only building on campus to lack a gender-neutral bathroom. The library, forestry and natural resources buildings have also been left out.

However, the BSS is home to HSU’s critical race, gender and sexuality studies department located on the third floor.

Many alumni from this department were in favor of bringing gender-neutral bathrooms to our campus in the first place. If these existed, the gender studies department would be able to accommodate those of all genders comfortably.

Bridget Santana is a student majoring in CRGS. She doesn’t like how HSU’s CRGS department advocates for inclusion, yet does not have a gender-neutral bathroom in the department’s building.

“It’s as if we keep trying to make some moves, but end up just speaking about it without creating action,” Santana said.

Elizabeth Whitchurch of facilities management explains why this is the case.

“The single unit bathrooms have always been part of our campus,” Whitchurch said. “They just weren’t specifically labeled.”

Whitchurch said there were recent talks of opening a “test” multi-unit gender-neutral bathroom, but that project has not moved forward.

“I honestly think this is kind of contradicting for the CRGS department, since we advocate about these situations and how we should be inclusive towards non-binary and non-gender specific people,” Santana said.

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