Slippery Rock University restrooms have a new look this year after more than 70 faculty and single-occupancy restrooms have been converted into all-gender restrooms around campus.
The all-gender restrooms, which are located in 35 different buildings on campus, have not changed except for the signage on the outside. The signage has gone from either “Male,” “Female” or “Faculty” to just “All-Gender.” The big misconception among students was that the restrooms were altered on the inside in some way, shape or form. The signs outside of the restrooms were the only major change that happened to them.
Holly McCoy, Slippery Rock’s Assistant Vice President for Diversity and Equal Opportunity, led the effort for all-gender restrooms and more equality for transgender students at SRU.
“An awareness grew and it was a need for transgender students,” McCoy Said. “There was a big thing in the news in the spring, and we had a committee gather over the summer. It had people from facilities, student affairs, my office and a variety of people from across campus. The main thing we talked about was the restroom situation, and this seemed to be the quickest way to get that taken care of.”
Another question people have asked is how this will affect the students and faculty on campus. McCoy said this won’t change anything just because anyone can use the restrooms now.
“Day-to-day living, I don’t think it has a whole lot of change,” McCoy said. “We didn’t change the number of bathrooms on campus, we just made it so anyone who wants to use them can. My office is in Old Main and we’ve always had a women’s bathroom and a men’s one, and if there was somebody in one we felt free to use the other one. We just formalized what a lot of people are doing already.”
Overall the feedback from the new restrooms has been positive and good to see, McCoy said. This was done for not just transgender students, but for the whole school to become more equal and accepting to the transgender life of some students, McCoy said.
McCoy stressed how the costs of the bathrooms needed to stay low for the benefit of the students.
“We wanted to keep costs as low as possible because we know it costs you, the students, a lot to go here,” McCoy said. “We could’ve taken some urinals out or put a stall in some of the restrooms, but we were looking out for the students in the long run.”