Awareness for Gender-Inclusive Restroom in Bryson Hall - MTC

Awareness for Gender-Inclusive Restroom in Bryson Hall - MTC

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*Disclaimer:
Despite the website, this is NOT a petition. "Signatures" collected will not result in a decision, this is only to bring awareness and show acknowledgement of a need. 

On Marion Technical College's campus and in the Marion community, one may notice a lack of LGBTQ+ centered resources. While encouraging MTC employees to attend professional development opportunities geared towards becoming a more LGBTQ+ friendly campus has opened doors and conversations, there are even more opportunities to become a more openly inclusive and diverse community. 

Most cannot name a restroom in Bryson Hall besides the main Women's and Men's rooms in the same hallway as Student Records. There is a family restroom located in Bryson Hall, but it is not very accessible or student-friendly. (If you personally do not know where it is, you are encouraged to go look for it with urgency and then understand the struggle from a student or visitor perspective.) This is an issue that raises for gender non-conforming students and visitors who wish to use a restroom they feel comfortable using and safe from harassment. 

Let's think about Maslow's hierarchy for a second. The primary tiers of needs that need to be met are 1) physiological, 2) safety, and 3) love/belonging.
If students are too busy thinking about where their nearest restroom is and planning how to get there, they will not learn in the classroom.
If students do not feel safe, they will not learn in the classroom.
If students do not feel as sense of belonging, they will not learn in the classroom.

Bryson Hall is the hub of Marion Technical College and it may not be meeting one of the physiological needs of gender non-conforming students and visitors. What, then, could this speak for MTC about meeting the safety and belonging needs to support students'--and future students'-- success? Here is an opportunity to bring awareness for a more LGBTQ+ friendly college, starting with talking about a gender-inclusive restroom. 

With the discussion of renovations for a more visitor and student friendly lobby of Bryson Hall, it may be beneficial to implement in the plan an accessible restroom that all persons of any gender identification or expression can comfortably use.
A gender-inclusive restroom in Bryson Hall's lobby would send a public message to everybody who enters the building that we are fostering an inclusive environment to meet the needs of our diverse student body. Something as simple as a centrally-located single-stall restroom that any and all persons can feel safe and comfortable using, would gesture that MTC, and the Marion campus overall, addresses students' most basic needs in order to foster a better learning environment. The women's and men's restrooms would still be there, but this would be an accommodation for those who do not fit into the binary and/or feel more safe and comfortable using the single-stall restroom. Including a gender-inclusive restroom in the plans for Bryson Hall's lobby renovations would be a very physical step in moving forward as a student-ready institution, and ultimately fostering a more friendly and inclusive community. 

You may sign to bring awareness of the need for an accessible, gender-inclusive restroom in Bryson Hall. No amount of signatures promises a change. This is simply to bring acknowledgement to a need.

More Information:
Signage is important because of the message it sends to students, faculty, staff, and visitors. "Wording along the lines of 'all gender restroom' or 'gender-inclusive restroom' is more encompassing to all identities across the gender spectrum. Whereas the language 'gender-neutral' implies that gender is a neutral concept which can be overlooked. We see gender, and we see the variations within it. We must acknowledge these" (www.campuspride.org). Instead of a sign with a man/woman, simple signage of a toilet would suffice. 

Read more: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/07/25/study-bathrooms-gender-identity-protection-policies-most-important-transgender 

Research study: https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/1808-Trans-Higher-Ed.pdf

See what American University, Washington D.C. is doing: https://www.american.edu/ocl/cdi/gender-neutral-restrooms.cfm 

 

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