Recently, new gender neutral restrooms have been spotted in a variety of places on ETSU’s campus and at the Quillen College of Medicine, although they started appearing as early as five to six years ago.
Both residence halls and administrative buildings, including the Mini Dome, Rogers-Stout Hall, Campus Center Building and the Basler Center for Physical Activity play host to some of the new bathrooms.
The full list can be found on the Office of Equity and Diversity’s website under the resources tab. There are also new gender neutral bathrooms in Warf-Pickel Hall, although they have not yet been added to the online list.
Daniel O’Brien, director of Environmental Health and Safety at ETSU, said gender neutral restrooms were requested by students via the office of Student Affairs, which related the interest to Facilities Management, who received the approval of administration to proceed.
“There was a need for students, staff and faculty that might need the privacy and convenience of using a gender neutral bathroom, and with the multi-stall bathrooms that we currently have, that doesn’t always accommodate those needs,” said Tracy Barry, Director of Equity and Assessment for the Office of Equity and Diversity.
O’Brien also said there were no current plans to add more gender neutral bathrooms that he was aware of, but Construction and Planning works closely with Student Affairs, and new construction initiatives will be looked at on a project-by-project basis.
A member of the staff has commented that they were pleased ETSU was willing to make the accommodation of gender neutral bathrooms.
“I am glad that ETSU is bringing this type of issue to campus for our students, for our faculty and our staff that we are trying to be as accommodating as we can be, and we hope to do that more in the future,” Barry said.