A few days ago, I found out that SUS has approved the changing of all the bathrooms on the second floor of the Student Union Building into gender neutral facilities. As someone who is transgender, you might think I was happy with this decision, but in fact, I am rather upset and perplexed by it.
First, we have to look at what this change entitles. To accommodate the change, it’s not as simple as replacing the signs above the doors. To make the men’s room gender neutral, the urinals would need to be removed. SUS has approved the reconstruction of the men’s washroom to remove the urinals, which is a $3,000 undertaking. This is where my issues arise from. This is a large expense to come out of student funds — a large expense which, until the decision had actually been approved, I had heard nothing about, and neither had a large portion of the student body.
Is it really justifiable to spend that much of student funds, on what can be seen as hardly more than a political statement? There are already gender neutral bathrooms on each floor of the building, and from experience, I can say that I have never had an issue with them ever being occupied.
To spend this money on renovating a perfectly functional bathroom, when the transgender community already has access to adequate facilities, seems completely unnecessary and facilitates nothing other than creating demands for the sake of demands, which will do nothing but raise tension against the Pride Collective, and in turn, the LGBTQ student body as a whole.