The University will be designating some single-stall restrooms on campus as gender-neutral this month.
The initiative aims to place at least one gender-neutral facility in all university buildings that already contain single-stall restrooms, including every residence hall on East and West Campus. According to a Duke Today release Tuesday, only existing single-stall restrooms will receive new gender-neutral signage, so no new restrooms will be constructed and no current restrooms will be renovated for this purpose.
Campus restrooms with multiple stalls will not be designated gender-neutral due to City of Durham code requirements.
Facilities Management will determine the exact number of restrooms that will be shifted to gender-neutral status through an inventory of all single-stall bathrooms across approximately 200 university buildings.
“It’s symbolic of our commitment to inclusivity in a broad sense and recognizing the fluidity of gender and sexual identity," Ben Reese, vice president of the Office for Institutional Equity, in the release.
In mid-May, four single-stall restrooms in the Allen Building and two in the Bryan Center will be designated gender-neutral as part of the initiative.
The project was begun last Fall by Blue Devils United and Duke Student Government who also partnered with Facilities Management, the Center for Sexual Gender and Diversity, the Office of Institutional Equity and the Disability Office.
“Having this option is one step toward creating a more inclusive campus community and reduces a barrier of anxiety for transgender and gender-nonconforming people,” Nick Antonicci, director of the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, said in the release. “It will allow folks to spend mental time and energy on what they’re here for, which is to succeed in research, be a student and support our community.”
According to the release, Duke Health officials are also assessing the designation of gender-neutral bathrooms on the medical center campus.
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