ASUA looks to add gender neutral bathrooms
ASUA Sen. Dakota Staren, a public health sophomore, moved to establish more gender neutral bathrooms on campus at the ASUA Senate meeting Wednesday night.
According to the UA’s Statement on Restroom Access, “in keeping with the University’s policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of gender identity, the University allows individuals to use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity.” Currently, the UA has 66 gender neutral bathrooms on campus, but they are not marked clearly.
One part of Staren’s platform was to mark gender neutral bathrooms on campus maps and get new signs to make it easier for students to find gender neutral bathrooms.
Staren proposed purchasing 40 new signs, with each sign costing $21.95. The signs look different than typical bathroom signs in that they feature the female with a skirt and male without a skirt images, as well as a figure with half a skirt.
The initiative stemmed from Staren’s desire to be less discriminatory and make the UA campus a more welcoming place.
“This is one way we can become a more diverse campus and be more progressive and keep up with other Pac-12 schools,” Staren said.
Staren also provided statistics, citing a study in which half of the roughly 6,000 transgender participants reported that they experienced harassment in public areas, including restaurants and bathrooms. About 10 percent also reported being physically attacked.
Currently, the initiative has $500 from the ASUA Government Affairs and Public Policy department and is trying to find more funding.
Staren said she believed it was her duty as part of ASUA to propose and support this idea.
“As a student government, our goal is to passionately represent all students at the UA regardless of sex,” Staren said. “Our vision is for every student to feel comfortable on campus.”
Other senators also expressed enthusiasm about the initiative.
“I’m so excited for it to be up around campus,” said Sen. Christopher Chavez, a political science sophomore.
ASUA President Morgan Abraham co-authored the presentation with Staren, but was not present at Wednesday night’s meeting.