Northwestern must implement bathrooms for all genders now, some professors say

Daily archive photo by Owen Stidman

The bathroom for everyone in the Norris University Center. Senate faculty members advocated on Wednesday for universal access to toilets for all genders.

City policies and lack of university The action suspended pressure for universal access to toilets for all genders – and some members of the faculty’s Senate stressed in a meeting on Wednesday that Northwestern must act now.

A report from the queer, non-binary and trans gender task force published in winter 2020 recommended to ensure access to toilets for all genders in order to make the University more inclusive.

Students have pushes for access, including through the anonymous student action of the School of Education and Social Policy in the fall of 2019 and the activism of graduate students of the School of Communication in the winter of 2020. That same winter, students and teachers also united to fight against delays. The University has yet to respond to requests from students and faculty.

“We are looking for a movement on this from headquarters to put resources behind what is possibly one of the most visible and stringent minimum key recommendations to make the campus more inclusive for our gender community. non-binary and trans, ”Senator said and RTVF said Professor Kyle Henry.

The university has not conducted any investigation to determine where toilets for all genders are available, said Henry, the faculty representative for the LGBT employee affinity group Out Network.

Henry’s own department at Annie May Swift Hall does not have an all-gender bathroom, he added.

Campus goals to ensure toilets for all genders are widely accessible have been “thwarted” by Evanston City Council, said molecular biosciences professor and chair of the faculty Senate Robert Holmgren. Evanston building codes mandate a minimum number of male and female bathrooms in each structure.

Henry acknowledged that the codes prevent the university from progressing, but said students should not be required to put pressure on the city.

“We would like the central administration to solve the problems in a creative way,” said Henry. “(But) they say, ‘Our hands are tied. Unfortunately… this conflicts with a key recommendation of a university sponsored task force for a gender inclusive environment, (which) is a bathroom.

Other senators, including Steven Adams, Luis Amaral and David Schoenbrun, expressed disappointment that the University did not provide a plan for implementing the task force’s recommendation.

The Social Responsibility Committee will review the resolution and report back at the next Senate meeting.

“I am thinking of the type of alteration that can be integrated into architecture”, Adams noted. “We need to create a culture here at Northwestern where we can do things to address the issues of marginalized people before we are forced to, before we are forced.”

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Communication graduate students install toilet-for-all signs and advocate for access



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