Gender Neutral Bathroom Week: Continuing Coverage

This year Gender Neutral Bathroom Week takes on a new strategy. Gender-neutral restrooms are staggered on building floors, leaving one bathroom gender specific on each floor, accompanied by tabling in the quad to help raise awareness and answer questions about gender non-conformist issues.

This year, Janae Teal, a graduate student in the masters of public affairs program, and Meredith Williams, a professor of sociology, the organizers of this campaign, have decided to change the outreach component. Placing “toilet trainers” in the quad to table throughout the week rather than waiting at various gender-neutral restrooms, outreach is more centralized this year. Staggering the gender-neutral restrooms on different building floors is also a shift from the previous year’s outreach. In the inaugural year of the Gender Neutral Bathroom Week, entire floors of various campus buildings were gender-neutral.

“We’re doing that [staggering the gender-neutral restrooms on different building floors] because we want to make sure everyone has an opportunity to experience this event and not in a malicious way, but we kind of want people to feel the discomfort that gender non-conforming people feel on a daily basis,” Teal said.

On the first day of Gender Neutral Bathroom week, Teal says that everything so far is going well.

“A lot of people have come up and thanked us for doing it [Gender Neutral Bathroom Week] and given us some great feedback on the advertising and saying thank you for bringing the event back from last year. We look forward to continuing the week,” Teal said.

Next week a town hall meeting will be scheduled to discuss the impacts of Gender Neutral Bathroom week and allow people to share their opinions on the topic. More information about the town hall meeting is still to come. The VanCougar will provide continuing coverage of this awareness campaign throughout the week.

To learn more about Gender Neutral Bathroom Week, visit the WSU Vancouver Diversity Council’s sponsored website: wsuvgenderdiversity.wordpress.com.

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