USI Student Proposes Gender-Neutral Bathrooms

Which bathroom should members of the transgender community use? This is a controversial question polarizing the nation which is why one Tri-State student decided to start a petition in hopes of bringing more gender-neutral bathrooms to their college campus.

Sydney Mitchell is a student at the University of Southern Indiana, who’s making it her mission for any non-binary or transgender USI students to feel more at ease using public restrooms so she started a petition.

Some of the proposed bathrooms would be family restrooms. As of Monday evening, nearly 320 students signed the petition, Alex Brenan being one of the supporters.

“Gender is not just what we think it is and to make the most students feel the most comfortable. It would be almost necessary to have gender-neutral bathrooms,” says Brenan.

44News reached out to the university and they don’t seem to have any plans in place to install gender-neutral bathrooms in the older buildings.

USI President Ron Rochon submitted a statement saying the college is “committed to creating an equitable environment for all members of our community.”

He also says in new and renovated facilities they “have purposely included gender-neutral and family restrooms as part of the design process and will continue to do so in the future for new construction and renovation projects.”

“Without them, it’s kind of almost a hindrance to the university in my opinion,” says Brenan.

Sydney Mitchell says up until last year there were no “gender-friendly” restrooms. However, no less than 10 of their current 85 restrooms are gender-neutral.

Although, some Hoosier lawmakers are against this accommodation. Two anti-trans bills have been backed by Indiana legislators in 2020. Several states have passed or tried to pass similar bills forcing transgender people to use the bathroom of their original gender.



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