'Bathroom squad' at public university to patrol for gender neutral options

Activists and members of the student government at the University of Colorado (CU) Boulder have appointed a “bathroom squad” to patrol university grounds  and sniff out if, and where, gender neutral and handicap accessible facilities are available on campus.

The Bathroom Squad will evaluate the number of gender neutral and handicap acessible restrooms around the CU-Boulder campus.

The bathroom vigilantes say they plan to roam the campus for the entire fall semester in order to complete the survey, which will be added to a previous report by CU's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Resource Center according to the The Daily Camera, a local publication.

According to the Camera, inspections of each facility are expected to last 20 minutes.

The resulting report will allow students to have a better understanding of which buildings on campus have the most accessible restrooms “so they can effectively advocate for more of these facilities.”

A student government resolution currently requires any building funded by student fees to offer gender neutral restrooms when they are remodeled.

Plans are already underway for a gender neutral locker room and gender neutral restrooms in the new rec center currently under construction.

Caitlin Pratt, the CU-Boulder student government director for safety and inclusion, told Campus Reform in an interview last Wednesday the newly-formed patrol is dedicated to creating a safe space for all students.

“The push is to make sure there’s space in universities for everyone," she said. "Regardless of their disability status, gender identity or expression...it’s just families as well. It’s just to make sure there are bathrooms that can accommodate everyone."

Emma Harsin Drager, a graduate who assists the student government told Campus Reform gender neutral bathrooms help prevent attacks against students with an alternative gender.

“The goal behind gender neutral spaces is to really stop harassment in bathrooms spaces so just because I can use any restroom doesn’t mean when I walk into that restroom there’s not going to be potential violence, harassment in that space,”said Harsin Drager.

“So the idea behind gender neutral is that it offers a third alternative for folks who don’t feel comfortable in the other ones , they feel like there’s violence happening in the other ones, but anyone can use them.”

The CU student government is working with The Council for Inclusion Leadership and Advocacy and the campus based group TRANS*cend to coordinate the bathroom squad.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @TimPDion

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