A multi-gender bathroom is located in Willard Administrative Center (CU Independent/Adam Alberti)
Gender neutral bathrooms are continuing to spread throughout the CU campus due to wide support from students and faculty, according to Deborah Coffin, dean of students at CU.
Coffin explained the reasoning behind constructing these bathrooms on campus.
“It affords more privacy for everyone,” said Coffin. “Our intention is to create gender neutral bathrooms in support of a broad range of students.”
According to Coffin, a multi-stall gender neutral bathroom was opened in Hallett residential hall last year after extensive discussions and community meetings. Those involved in conversation around the creation of this bathroom included residence life staff, student leadership, housing and dining services and students, Coffin said.
As opposed to restrictions placed on gender binary bathrooms, gender neutral bathrooms are available to both males and females. They provide the security of locks and full length doors on each stall and shower area, according to Grant Scovel, a 2008 residential advisor for Hallet Hall and temporary aid for the GLBT Resource Center.
Scovel said he was a huge advocate of the creation of gender neutral bathrooms in Hallett.
“There have been cases of people being afraid to go into an opposite gendered bathroom even to help or save somebody,” Scovel said. “So overall, I think it is much more beneficial to have people comfortable to go anywhere and being able to help people if they need it.”
Along with the benefit of safety, he added that gender neutral bathrooms provide a social interaction that cannot be otherwise accomplished in gender binary bathrooms.
“When people got ready, they all had a big party in the main sink area and we actually had floor meetings in there also,” Scovel said.
Reagan Fair, 21-year-old senior anthropology and theater major, was a Hallett resident when the bathroom was installed and explained her experience with the bathroom.
“From a social stance, you get a lot more interaction with different people on the floor,” said Fair. “There were a lot closer friendships, I feel like.”
Gender neutral bathrooms continue to multiply across campus as residential halls are renovated and CU works to meet the needs of a variety of students. According to Coffin and Scovel, there are currently gender neutral bathrooms located in Libby, Willard and Hallett Halls, the UMC and Humanities building.
Scovel explained that many advocates have been working to promote a gender neutral locker room in the Rec Center. This process has been ongoing for three to four years due to the number of guidelines that must be approved for the locker room to become a reality, Scovel said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Kylie Horner at Kylie.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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