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University plans for gender-neutral bathroom stalls

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Vanessa Oceguera
Staff Writer

The University of La Verne is preparing to install more than 20 gender-neutral bathrooms on campus to provide the transgender community with restrooms they feel comfortable using.

“I’m excited about it because it’s a step forward in honoring the diversity and inclusivity mission of the University by recognizing people’s different genders, the fluidity of gender and different gender expressions,” Associate Dean of Students Juan Regalado said.

The Gender-Neutral Bathrooms Task Force, a group of students, faculty and administrators, met March 17 to discuss the plans and identify possible locations for the restrooms. The project will most likely involve changing some single-stall restrooms already on campus to gender-neutral.

A couple of possible locations for such changes are the third floor of Wilson Library and the second floor of Founders Hall.

State policy restricts the University from simply changing restrooms to gender-neutral, Klein said.

According to the state policy: “The number of toilets provided for each sex shall be based on the maximum number of employees of that sex present at the worksite at any one time during a work shift.”

The University has been considering gender-neutral bathrooms on campus for many years, but increased public awareness, appreciation of the needs, and protection of the rights of transgender students across the state and nation have pushed the issue here to the fore, said Professor of Education John Bartelt, a task force member.

“The needs have always been there,” Bartelt said. “We are just becoming more sensitive.”

“It fits with La Verne’s values,” said sophomore task force member Ryan Gray. “No bathroom in the city of La Verne is currently has gender-neutral, so by doing this, putting our values there, we can be the stepping stone for the city of La Verne to adapt (and) start making that social change.

The University of California (has) gender-neutral restroom available on all campuses, and now colleges across the country are making the transition, Gray added.

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