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Colleges are increasingly embracing the concept of gender-neutral bathrooms

Colleges are increasing designated some campus bathrooms to be gender-neutral. Credit: Wikimedia Commons Gender-neutral bathrooms on campus are a growing trend.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Northwestern University recently made headlines after announcing that it would be installing two gender-neutral bathrooms in the university's student center.

“These are two gender-open bathrooms where students of any gender can go in, and use the restroom, and feel safe, regardless of gender expression or gender identity,” the president of the campus LGBT group Michelle Margulis told CBS Chicago.The new bathrooms are expected to be completed before students arrive on campus for the fall semester.

Some students are hoping other colleges will follow Northwestern's lead. Student activists at California State University-Chico helped pass a student government resolutionlast yearthat recommended that one single-stall bathroom in each campus building be declared gender-neutral.Oberlin College has applied a similar policy to its residential halls, designating one restroom in each dorm to be gender-neutral.

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Over 150 campuses in the United States have gender-neutral restroomsaccording tothe Stonewall Center at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. The Transgender Law and Policy Institutenotes that transgenderstudents can be subject to harassment and violence while using gender-specific facilities.

Follow Lakshmi Gandhi on Twitter @LakshmiGandhi.

 
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