A politically-motivated organization at CU is petitioning for a gender-neutral bathroom on campus.
The student organization, Queer Initiative (QI), started the petition in request for a permanent multi-stall gender-neutral bathroom in the UMC, said Kyle Inselman, a 20-year-old junior film studies major and officer for the Queer Initiative.
Inselman said he wishes to specify that all statements he makes are his personal opinion, and not made on behalf of the entire QI.
Although the UMC basement does contain a single-stall family restroom, the petition is specifically for a multi-stall gender-neutral bathroom, according to Inselman.
“There are many benefits and it will help so many people,” Inselman said. “We have been addressing parents as well because if they have a child who is too young to go in by themselves they can go in together.”
According to a QI flyer on the issue, this proposed bathroom will also benefit women, Trans folks, gender non-conformists and everyone interested in overcoming the gender binary.
According to Inselman, QI had attempted to get the gender-neutral bathrooms temporarily approved Jan. 22.
“We wanted to give people a chance to experience what it might be like,” Inselman said. “There is nothing like experiencing something first hand to know how you really feel about it.”
The temporary restroom was not approved due to administrative concerns of safety, according to Inselman.
“I’m really not sure what these concerns are about because multi-stall bathrooms actually are safer,” Inselman said. “We have a lot of information on why they are safer.”
According to the QI flyer, gender-neutral restrooms will double the student traffic in and out of the bathroom, decreasing the likelihood of violent assaults.
Although the temporary restroom was not approved, QI will continue to strive for administrative approval, Inselman said.
“The more people who can try out the gender-neutral bathroom, the more people can see what it will be like, the more support we can get, and the more education we can do,” Inselman said.
CU spokesperson Bronson Hilliard said he cannot comment due to lack of information on the details of the petition, but noted that he would not be the authority responsible for approving such a proposal.
“All I know is there was an idea floating around about expanding the concept of gender neutral bathrooms but since then [the petition] hasn’t come across my desk,” Hilliard said.
Stephanie Anderson, a 19-year-old sophomore business major, said she would be willing to use a gender-neutral bathroom if it were approved.
“I wouldn’t mind at all,” Anderson said. “As long as the bathrooms had full stalls it wouldn’t make a difference to me and having these bathrooms might reduce long lines, which is a plus.”
All-gender bathrooms are private and discreet multi-stalled spaces with floor to ceiling dividers and lockable doors, according to the QI flyer.
According to Inselman, the number of signatures on the petition is unknown.
“There are no details to give at this time but last time I checked there were about eighty signatures,” Inselman said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Kylie Horner at Kylie.firstname.lastname@example.org.