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Unisex restrooms to be built in new health center

Students are used to entering the restroom based off of their gender, but students can expect to disregard the signs this fall and learn to share the same bathroom.

The Undergraduate Student Government recently passed a resolution allowing gender neutral restrooms into the Falcon Health Center, which is currently under construction.

The resolution also included thoughts from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community and the Wood County Hospital.

While some students may not be for the idea, senior Jameeka Marshall is comfortable with the idea as long as she receives the same privacy she has when using a women’s only restroom.

“As long as there is a lock on the door, I will be perfectly fine with a unisex bathroom,” Marshall said.

Individuals who prefer separate restroom facilities may appreciate the benefits of unisex restrooms.

Jeff Deveraux, an academic and diversity affairs chairman, expressed his thoughts about the new unisex restrooms being added in the health center.

“In regards to safety and practicality, gender neutral restrooms seem to be much more practical and a better use of space,” Deveraux said.

The single stalled restrooms will contain one sink and one toilet. This will not cause safety hazards or eliminate ones privacy.

Deveraux said the advantages the restrooms would have on different groups of people throughout the community will be beneficial.

“Their really great [gender neutral restrooms] for the disabled community,” Deveraux said. “There are some individuals who cant use restrooms because their not handicap accessible.”

These restrooms will help include the rights of all individuals, he said.

“It’s really important to realize that this is a step forward,” Deveraux said.

David Neely, Undergraduate Student Government vice president, said it was a “unanimous decision” among the group to have the gender neutral restrooms.

“The entire purpose is to create a inclusive environment for all students who use the health center,” Neely said.

Even though a comfortable environment is being created for students, some are still skeptical.

Marshall said one reason she is skeptical is because cleanliness habits may be different between males and females.

“There should be a sign reminding guys to put the toilet seat down,” Marshall said. “This way, it will make everybody happy and more prone to using them.”

Marshall not only thought about being comfortable with the unisex bathrooms but other students who use them as well.

“I think other students will be comfortable with using them because they will have more privacy,” Marshall said. “Instead of having to worry about stalls and bathroom doors always opening and closing when people enter and leave.”

One student agreed with Marshalls statement, but also has her own concerns as well.

Senior Taz’mera Malcolm said she likes the idea of gender neutral bathrooms, but hopes that she won’t be rushed on days when the health center is crowded.

“I know that these bathrooms are common,” Malcolm said. “I just don’t want to feel rushed on crowded days when a lot of people need to use the restroom.”

Lines are Malcom’s main fear and concern based off of past experience with bathroom lines.

“If lines for stalled bathrooms get long, I know that these will too and maybe even longer,” said Malcolm.

However, Neely ensures students that there will not be any large issues from individuals who may reject the idea of gender neutral bathrooms because of their existing popularity in hospitals already.

“I don’t believe there will be anybody outraged by the idea, Marshall said. “Most dentist and doctors offices that I’ve been to also had unisex restrooms.”

Students won’t only become acquainted with gender neutral restrooms in the health center, but other places on campus as well. The Kreischer Quadrangle will be adding four private unisex bathrooms as well.

The Falcon Health Center will be located on the corner of Wooster St. and South College Ave. and will open this fall.

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