Students Indifferent About Gender-Neutral Bathrooms reports New Bathrooms Cambridge
If there are both gender-neutral and single-gender bathrooms, there is no conflict
In the 2013 fall semester, the University will designate five gender-neural, unaffiliated houses on the West and central Campuses for the school year. All three of the designated housing areas on the West will incorporate a gender-neutral bathroom, in addition to at no less than two single-gender bathrooms that will be available, stated sophomore Jacob Zionce, DSG vice president of residential life. There are currently gender neutral housing in one house on the Central Campus.
“The idea of gender neutrality was that there would need to be three bathrooms on each floor in order for each house to qualify—a male bathroom, a female bathroom and a gender-neutral bathroom,” Zionce said. “The main focus was to make sure everyone is comfortable in their living situation.”
Many students who were interviewed regarding the matter expressed a general lack of concern over the concept of gender-neutral bathrooms.
“I don’t mind having a bathroom that is co-ed, as long as I will still have access to a girls-only one,” said sophomore Elizabeth Sharkey, a resident of Upper Few HH.
That sentiment was echoed by many other students, who simply see little problem with a shared bathroom, as long as single-sex bathrooms are also afforded to the student-body.
An important auxiliary concept of the model of gender neutrality was that student's right to return to current housing for 2013, said Joe Gonzalez, who presides as dean for residential life.
“There are two basic ideas that are working opposite each other at this point,” Zionce noted. “There’s the one idea of gender neutrality, a concept that is truly transcending what has been in place here at Duke… and on the other hand, the idea of maintaining house autonomy and making sure each house is heard.”
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