Cal Poly Pomona has added two gender-inclusive restrooms to campus in an effort to provide access to facilities for all students, staff and faculty, including gender non-conforming individuals.
The restrooms, located in the Union Plaza (Old Stables), include one single-stall and one multi-stall facility that also has a urinal. The multi-stall restroom includes floor-to-ceiling partitions, with an opening at the top to provide greater privacy.
Brianna Sérráno, coordinator of the Pride Center, says the need for more gender-inclusive restrooms on campus was discussed when university President Soraya M. Coley conducted her listening tour.
Although Cal Poly Pomona has 28 single-stall gender-inclusive restrooms, they are not as centrally located and easy to access as those in Building 26. The new multi-stall restroom is one of the first of its kind at a CSU, Sérráno says. It includes a facility for people with disabilities.
“The restrooms have been pretty well received,” Sérráno says. “Students are happy it’s there.”
Sérráno, along with Linda Hoos, chief diversity officer and assistant vice president of the Office of Equity, Inclusion and Compliance, recently did a presentation on campus about the need for gender-inclusive restrooms. National data on harassment of transgender people in public restrooms revealed that harassment is a real concern.
Fifty-nine percent of transgender people reported avoiding public bathrooms at work, school or other places because of the fear of confrontations, according to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. A total of 12 percent reported that they had been harassed, attacked or sexually assaulted in a bathroom, and 31 percent said they avoided drinking or eating so they would not need to use the restroom, according to the study.
In addition to transgender or non-binary students, staff and faculty, the restrooms also are beneficial to parents with children, as well as people with disabilities and their caregivers, Sérráno says.