The Gender Inclusive Restroom Task Force (GIRR) is continuing its effort to create more gender-inclusive facilities so that students have more access to the restroom of their choice.
The California bill AB-1732, approved in 2017, mandated that all single-occupancy restrooms be converted to gender-inclusive restrooms. Humboldt State University has complied with this bill, but students requested that more gender-inclusive facilities be created.
Jeanne Rynne, associate vice president for Facilities Management and staff co-chair of GIRR, said that GIRR was created in response to these requests in the spring of 2019. GIRR is trying to create additional gender-inclusive restrooms by converting existing men’s and women’s facilities.
Student Co-chair of GIRR, senior Corry Strauss also expressed that, while having single-occupancy gender-inclusive restrooms is a step in the right direction, it can be alienating for some students.
“We’re not doing the separate but equal sort of thing,” Strauss said. “That ‘hey, yeah, you can use the restroom but you have to use this other, special restroom,’ we’re just going to have restrooms.”
The first multi-stall all-gender restroom is located on the second floor of the Harry Griffith Hall. A map of existing and future recommended gender-inclusive facilities is available on GIRR’s website, https://facilitymgmt.humboldt.edu/gender-inclusive-restroom-task-force
Rynne explained that the taskforce will send their recommendations to the University Space and Facilities Advisory Committee and ask that the proposal be incorporated into the campus master plan.
Rynne also said that a lot of research went into making sure that the restrooms were equitably dispersed. The task force’s ultimate goal is to make sure that no matter what building someone is in, a bathroom of their preference is no more than a floor away.
President of the Queer Student Union, senior and zoology major Jordan Kanemoto believes that these All-Gender facilities will have a positive and welcoming impact on the campus community.
Kanemoto said, “It destigmatizes the idea of breaking down what I personally believe is an unnecessary and redundant separation, as well as provides a safer place for trans/nonbinary people to use the bathroom.”