The Gays and More Club has initiated a push for a multi-stall unisex bathroom on campus this year. The goal is a facility that is open to everyone who feels uncomfortable picking a gendered bathroom.
“I know people who don’t drink water during the day so they don’t have to use the restroom,” said Ricci Teefy, president of Gays and More.
With a unisex bathroom, many more students will be able to go to school without worrying about this basic necessity.
In November, Gays and More met with administrators Nic McMaster and Patrinia Redd to discuss the issue.
Recently Redd and McMaster met with the district to propose a location for the unisex bathroom. One suggestion is to convert a 700 hall bathroom into a unisex bathroom because of the hall’s central location. Another possibility is to construct an entirely new facility.
“I really think that it [the bathroom] could happen this school year,” said Redd.
However, because of logistics involving state regulation of school bathroom facilities, such as the ratio of student to staff bathrooms, it may take longer than hoped. Because of this, Gays and More and administration are looking for temporary fixes.
One temporary solution is to circulate knowledge about how to gain access to the two single-stalled unisex bathrooms that are currently on campus. Both can be accessed by going to a house office and requesting a key. One is located in the health office, and the other is located behind 900 hall. To help spread the word, the topic will be discussed at eighth grade parent night.
“We will be sure to include an appropriate way to get the information out,” said McMaster. Redd also wants students to know that they are entitled to use whichever bathroom they feel most comfortable using.
However, even if all students know this information, the situation is still far from ideal. The bathroom located in the health office is already used by special education students, so added usage will be a hassle. The bathroom behind the 900 hall is in an inconvenient location, and walking to it takes away from students’ class time.
Additionally, the act of asking for a key can be nerve-racking for students “who have not come out yet,” said Teefy.
To Teefy, as well as many others, a multi-stall unisex bathroom seems to be the only viable option.