Bathrooms are changing all across campus
The social norm of bathrooms has always been one restroom strictly for women and one for men. Humboldt State University has not put a gender-neutral bathroom with multiple stalls within the campus.
There are plenty of unisex single-stalled restrooms but not multi-stalled gender-neutral bathrooms. Cory Strauss, a rangeland resources major with an emphasis with soil, is on his last year at HSU. Strauss was one of the first to push gender-neutral bathrooms into place and recruit more people to become aware of this issue.
Strauss said that facilities management were hesitant to put gender-neutral bathrooms on campus due to unsure coding.
“They wanted me to do a school-wide survey to see if there was even a need for these bathrooms,” Strauss said. “There wasn’t anyone within facilities opposed to this idea, just uncertainty and they were just very busy to hurry this process along.”
A lot of people don’t know that much information on gender inclusivity or the LGBTQ community, so people like Strauss also want to get these problems known so people are aware of issues like these.
“It gives a physical space to start meeting and understanding one another,” Strauss said. “We want to have workshops to get information out there about the LGBTQ community, information in the bathroom about these things. If people have never looked into what these different words means, such as binary versus trans versus cis, it is an easy area to give out information on this.”
The main buildings being focused on putting gender-neutral bathrooms are the Behavioral Social Science, Music A and B, Science A, B, C, and D, the library, the Theatre Arts building and the Harry Griffith Hall.
Film major Jazmin Sandoval, also the president of the Associated Students, continuously fights for gender-neutral bathrooms.
Sandoval said the the library and theatre arts are the easiest buildings to add gender-neutral bathrooms to because they are currently being retrofitted and remodeled.
“The BSS because it is on top of a hill and it is very secluded and it has a ton of bathrooms but no gender-inclusive restrooms,” Sandoval said. “Harry Griffith hall might be a pilot project just to feel it out because there is an excessive amount of bathrooms in there where there is four bathrooms by each other”.
These students have a lot of future planning for these bathrooms to take place. They want this campus to cater to all students who are in the LGBTQ community and even single parents who want to take their kids to the bathroom without feeling uncomfortable. They want everyone to feel safe and comfortable while attending Humboldt State University.
Sandoval said that potentially there may be gender-neutral bathrooms in fall 2019 but there’s no guarantee.
“It has been statistically proven that zero percent of trans people have not attacked or used these bathrooms to take advantage of anyone.”
“That’s why we’re doing all the planning now so we can have things structured and we can start to implement it next fall,” Sandoval said. “We are hoping to start Harry Griffith Hall sooner, rather than later because it would be very easy to convert one of the multi-stall into a gender-inclusive bathroom, but we have out eyes set on next fall.”
Many people get the wrong idea as to why these gender-neutral bathrooms are necessary. Neesh Wells, the director for EDC and a business administration major emphasizing in marketing, takes part in trying to get gender-neutral bathrooms.
“It has been statistically proven that zero percent of trans people have not attacked or used these bathrooms to take advantage of anyone,” Wells said. “Trans people have never assaulted anyone in a bathroom, most attacks are actually from people who are non-trans attacking those who are trans.”
If you have any questions or want to get involved with this movement, there are meetings every Friday, 11:30-12:30 at facilities management in the facilities conference room. You can also contact Cory Strauss at Cds383@humboldt.edu, Jazmin Sandoval at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Neesh Wells at email@example.com.