UMass restroom has wrong plumbing to be 'gender-inclusive'

  • UMass-Amherst students are outraged that a restroom formerly designated as "gender-inclusive" now has new signage indicating that it is for females only.
  • According to UMass-Amherst Director of Residence Education Jean MacKimmie, the change was required by the state's plumbing code.

Students at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst are in an uproar after a previously “gender-inclusive” bathroom was re-designated as female-only.

According to The Massachusetts Daily Collegian, students have launched an email campaign to protest the decision, attempting to flood the inboxes of those behind the change.

"The previous ‘all gender’ sign was installed without consultation..."   

[RELATED: Pierce students say new all-gender restrooms not good enough]

In fact, a template for the campaign is circulating on social media, encouraging any student or community member to write to university leaders expressing their “support for student efforts to recreate the space as safe and affirming for all residents, and hope that the signage is in place to fulfill student’s needs as quickly as possible.”

Of particular concern to student protesters is the fact that the bathroom in question is located in an LGBTQ-themed residence hall, though Director of Residence Education Jean MacKimmie explained in an email prior to the decision that the school was lawfully required to make the change.

The state’s plumbing code requires that all multi-stall bathrooms “be designated as either male or female,” MacKimmie explained, according to The Collegian.

“The previous ‘all gender’ sign was installed without consultation with Residential Life Directors, the staff of the Stonewall Center, student organizations or the State Plumbing Board,” she elaborated.

Further, MacKimmie went on to express her full support of creating “a campus environment that supports and values all members” of the community, even noting that “as a result, 135 campus bathrooms, 122 residence hall restrooms and 21 residence hall bathrooms have been designated as gender-inclusive.”

[RELATED: Berkeley student fees fund $2.7M gender-neutral locker room]

Still, some students, such as Ethan Gourlay, plan to continue to use any bathroom of their choosing.

“I find having to choose between men’s and women’s rooms oppressive and uncomfortable,” Gourlay told The Collegian. “The change to women’s rooms might not have a big change—I intend to use them because gender is a lie.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AGockowski

Get exclusive access to breaking CampusReform stories as they happen. Sign up below and we'll keep you in the loop.
 Weekly Digest

 Daily Emails

Anthony Gockowski
Anthony Gockowski | Contributing Editor/Investigative Reporter

Anthony Gockowski is the Contributing Editor and an Investigative Reporter for Campus Reform. He previously worked for The Daily Caller, Intercollegiate Review, The Catholic Spirit, and The College Fix. In 2015, he was named a fellow for the Student Free Press Association. His reporting is regularly featured on Drudge Report, Fox News, National Review, and more.

20 Articles by Anthony Gockowski