El Camino College Union

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Restrooms are for everyone

Photo+credit%3A+Emma+Dimaggio
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Restrooms are for everyone

Photo credit: Emma Dimaggio

Photo credit: Emma Dimaggio

Photo credit: Emma Dimaggio

Photo credit: Emma Dimaggio

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Students have a right to feel welcomed and included on their college campus. The lack of gender neutral restrooms at El Camino stands as a stark contrast to this ideal.

EC currently has 16 single-stall gender neutral restrooms, but they are difficult to find and far too few.

This campus is home to 24,092 students, according to Fall 2016 El Camino Student Profile data. All of these students are categorized into two gender binaries: male and female. When filling out an application to attend EC, one’s only choices are male and female. This means that transgender, queer, and non-binary students, amongst others, are left unaccounted for.

If only a fraction of these students identify as non-binary, they are left with few options on campus restroom-wise, especially if their classes aren’t close to any of the designated gender-neutral bathrooms.

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Photo credit: Emma Dimaggio

When Assembly Bill No. 1732 was passed in September 2016, it outlined a mandatory transition of all single-stall restrooms to gender neutral restrooms. EC administrators seemed eager to oblige.

An editorial from 2016 lauds the campus for being so proactive in switching to gender-neutral bathrooms, but their transition has been slow-going.

So far, only five of 16 gender neutral bathrooms are available to students, according to Campus Gender Restroom Project documents sent by Director of Community Relations Ann Garten.

Though the campus plans to transition more restrooms to gender-neutral restrooms, this change should’ve been made months ago. If EC was eager to adhere to AB 1732, the restrooms would’ve been completed by March 2017, as the bill outlines.

What’s more frustrating is that turning a gendered restroom into a gender-neutral or unisex restroom requires no construction. The transition is as simple as changing the signs to say “unisex” or merely “restroom.” The five months that elapsed after the bill was initially passed was meant to give building administrators time to make the change, and yet they the restrooms still remain gendered.

If there’s anything that all students deserve the right to, it’s using the restroom. Without an adequate number of gender neutral restrooms, this isn’t possible.

We hope that campus leaders take this as a sign that they should start taking gender inclusivity on campus more seriously. Gender neutral bathrooms should be the beginning, not the end, of the discussion on how to make EC as inclusive as possible.

It’s 2017. The time to end gender binaries is now. We should all take part in this change. The world wasn’t made for cisgendered people only, and our campus shouldn’t be either.

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Restrooms are for everyone