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Gender-neutral bathrooms making their way to campus

February 26, 2016

Last semester, a proposal was submitted for gender-neutral restrooms in academic halls and residence halls. The proposal passed unanimously providing support from the student body. Hayden Fulfer and Nick Calloway drafted the proposal. Once passed by ASMC, the proposal went to Dean Condon who took it to the Faculty Senate where it also passed.

Student Affairs Representative Ryan Brennan helped Fulfer and Calloway go through the proper steps of presenting the proposal. Brennan said that after the proposal passed, the next big question to answer was how the college would provide gender-neutral restrooms. Restrooms have different codes depending on whether they are for men or women. Brennan said that the final verdict was to convert three restrooms that can easily be brought up to code. These restrooms are in the lower levels of Austin Hall, Mellinger and McMichael hall and will be the first converted. There are already two gender-neutral restrooms in the lower level of Wallace Hall.

Brennan said, “The CSB and Stockdale will be harder to get up to code but are two of the most important so they will be the next on the list along with Hewes Library. Residence halls and the Huff will take the most work so they will be among the last to be converted. Brennan added that this was mostly the work of Fulfer and Calloway. “I simply helped them through the proper steps to get it done and followed it (the proposal) along the way.”

Fulfer worked hard to get this issue the attention it needed. Fulfer said, “This issue is so important to me and other students because not every student identifies with the gender they are designated at birth and so maneuvering through bathrooms that are only labeled men or women can become more complex. Some people don’t identify with either gender, so what bathroom is there for them to use in that sense?”

Several area colleges including Knox College, Western Illinois University and Augustana College have all made efforts to include gender-neutral bathrooms on their campus.

“This is an issue that is new to Monmouth College,” Fulfer said, “I believe this is a big step for Monmouth College mainly because the college has never dealt with issues that transgender people face so avidly before this year. I believe every step is a big step in making the college a more trans-inclusive and friendly campus.”

Timothy Yates
Staff Writer

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