UNC finally addresses a very serious problem

Here is a letter to the editor of the Daily Tar Heel:

TO THE EDITOR:

The Campus Y installed new bathroom signs over winter break to create four officially gender non-specific bathrooms. These are some of the first gender non-specific bathrooms at UNC.

For more than 153 years, the Campus Y has fought for inclusivity on Carolina’s campus.

We advocated for integration in the ‘60s and the construction of the black cultural center (now the Sonja Haynes Stone Center) in the ‘90s. Our 30 committees currently work on issues of disability awareness, gender equality and immigrant rights. We see the inclusion of students of all gender identities and expressions as one of the most important social justice issues of our time.

Last semester, we joined many other campus organizations and students to advocate for gender non-specific housing on campus. The Board of Trustees voted in support of gender non-specific housing, but the proposal was shot down at a higher level. Faced with this challenge, we are determined to continue to push for equality for students of all gender identities. Creating gender non-specific bathrooms is just a first step.

Seeing bathroom signs everywhere uphold a binary between male and female can be isolating and exclusionary to people who do not identify as male or female.

We challenge other departments and buildings on campus to follow us in creating gender non-specific bathrooms and choosing to be inclusive to students of all gender expressions.

Cora Went ’15
Campus Y Co-President

Natalia Borrego ’14
Campus Y Co-President

2 comments

  1. And if CNN is correct, then about 60 percent of the scholarship student-athletes can read those signs.

    Comment by Jon Sanders on January 9, 2014 at 4:37 pm

  2. Good point, but of course we have pictorial signs besides those written in English. The problem is, how do you design a pictorial to show that the bathroom is for people who are unsure of their gender?

    Comment by George Leef on January 9, 2014 at 4:43 pm

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