WRITTEN BY AUTUMN CLOUDEN
Restrooms on the fourth and seventh floor have been declared gender-neutral.
Formerly, the two bathrooms could only be accessed by faculty and staff by key.
“This is an effort led by students that requested the possibility of a gender neutral bathroom,” Dean of Students Dr. Jose Rodriguez told SFC Today. “With the support of a few administrators and faculty we decided that this was a good idea and at the right time.”
Temporary signs are currently posted on the restroom doors, but permanent ones have been ordered.
LGBTQ Club President Adriannah Rodriguez favored the newly approach and advocated for the idea.
“We are excited for the bathrooms. The LGBTQ Club was really pushing that,” she said.
St. Francis College partnered with Hetrick-Martin Institute last semester to host the Brooklyn LGBTQ Youth Summit — organized to help teens in the LGBTQ community with job readiness, health issues and self-empowerment. At the event, the club president recalled the organizers and attendees looking for a gender-neutral bathroom.
“We didn’t have a gender neutral bathroom so we had to make one. We put a temporary one on the fourth floor just for that one day. I‘m glad that the school decided to implement them again,” she told SFC Today.
It is important for the college because a transgender community is present on campus and needs to be represented, the club president said.
“I think it is innovative that the college is an accepting place and has a way for individuals not to worry about gender identity,” she added.
Others within the SFC community also favor the change.
“I think it is step in the direction to show St. Francis College as a place where students can feels safe,” Director of Student Engagement Ruben Gonzalez. “The student body has expressed for facilities similar to the bathrooms in the past. The bathrooms will also be beneficial since most students don’t know where the bathrooms are located and there is not a men’s bathroom on the second floor.”
The new implementations come at a time that gender neutrality is an ongoing discussion. Mayor Bill de Blasio recently signed a bill allowing gender-neutral facilities in NYC.