By Gary Manier – Collegiate Staff
Students in StandOut, a campus club promoting equality for LGBTQQA students, believe that additional unisex restrooms and gender training for both staff and students will help prevent violence and bullying, providing a safer campus.
StandOut members believe this is an issue of great importance because it would relieve the stress caused from the pressure of having to use gender specific restrooms that do not align with a student’s gender identity.
“The (idea of increased gender training) came up due to an increase in students identifying as transgendered, and student complaints about staff either not knowing enough or being insensitive to the issue,” said Sarah VanSolkema, President of StandOut.
Some students also thought the reenactments in the mandatory consent modules (Not Anymore, an online interpersonal violence prevention program from Student Success) were too graphic, causing them to relive trauma.
StandOut believes that gender training will help GRCC staff be more compassionate and empathetic towards students whose gender identity may be unfamiliar. The club believes it would be useful for both students and staff as a learning tool, and that it would unify students and strengthen leadership on campus
“More people are identifying as transgender and deserve the right to have these restrooms,” said Ben Enter, 23, a culinary arts major.
“Adding more unisex restrooms would show positive change, and limit abuses and violence toward transgendered students,“ VanSolkema said.
“There should be more unisex restrooms in Ford (Fieldhouse),” said Hannah Lucas, nursing major and member of StandOut. “I use them whenever they’re open, because I have that option for privacy.”
This past summer GRCC finished major renovations, expanding and transforming faculty only facilities into gender neutral restrooms in Cook Hall.
“Two unisex restrooms were recently added to the third and fourth floors in the main building, and the existing rooms have been expanded,” said Victoria Janowiak, Vice President of Operational Planning.
Janowiak said the department takes these comments into consideration during construction and tries to address the concerns if possible.
StandOut meetings take place from 1-2 p.m. Wednesdays in room 208 Cook Hall.
This information has not been updated on the GRCC website, but should be current soon. For the most recent list of resources, visit http://grcc.edu/socialsciences/genderstudies/campusgenderrelatedfacilities