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UO Incorporates Gender Inclusive Bathrooms

A single stall bathroom in UO's Volcanology building.
Kyra Buckley
A single stall bathroom in UO's Volcanology building.

The University of Oregon is changing the way it labels some of its bathrooms. Over one hundred restrooms on campus are now considered “gender inclusive.”

A single stall bathroom in UO's Volcanology building.
Credit Kyra Buckley
A single stall bathroom in UO's Volcanology building.

One of the bathroom signs in UO’s Volcanology building reads “all gender.” Next to the wheelchair icon is the typical man or woman symbol, but only from the shoulders up. About 90 bathrooms now have this sign, or one that reads “multi-gender,” and more are to come.

Maure Smith-Benanti is director of LGBT services at the University. She says this is an important step in ensuring safety for UO students, staff, and visitors.

Smith-Benanti: “Restrooms and locker rooms—or gendered spaces really—can be particularly terrifying. That’s where a lot of the violence occurs against transgender people, gender variant people, or even folks who simply look androgynous.”

At least 14 future UO buildings currently under construction will have gender-inclusive facilities. Oregon State University and Portland Community College are also offering similar amenities.

 

Copyright 2016 KLCC

Kyra Buckley
Kyra Buckley has been a volunteer in KLCC’s newsroom since August 2015. She will graduate from the University of Oregon in December 2015 with a BA in Journalism and Political Science. At the UO she held leadership positions on student run publications like Envision, an online environmental magazine, and This Oregon Life, a storytelling podcast.