Queens University is starting to add gender-neutral bathrooms around campus

Queens University is starting to add gender-neutral bathrooms around campus
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Queens University of Charlotte is now putting gender-neutral bathrooms across its campus.

Plans to do so have been accelerated since the spring, after the state legislature passed a law requiring transgender students to use the bathroom of the gender listed on their birth certificate. A campus-wide email went out to everyone in March in response to that HB2 law that passed a few days before.

Queens wants to have a gender-neutral bathroom in each residence hall and across common areas on campus.

“Gender-neutral bathrooms are part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion,” spokeswoman Lisa Noakes said. “New signage is underway in almost every building in one place or another on campus.”

[Agenda story: EXPLAINER: What happened in Raleigh with Charlotte’s LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance]

Queens University

One of the first may be going in as we speak.

Bathroom renovations are underway in the lobby of Hall Brown Overcash hall, one of the most diverse residence halls on Queens campus. This hall houses mostly transfers, international students, and a few freshmen.

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Residence life leaders have been pushing for gender-neutral bathrooms in Hall Brown Overcash for months.

In a weekly meeting several months ago, the resident coordinator questioned why the bathrooms in the lobby aren’t just labeled “restroom one” and “restroom two.”

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The changes are popular on campus.

The issue at Queens was not just pushed by Student Affairs, but also by students around campus who raised their voices and said that they have needs to be met.

There is now a list of approved bathrooms that will be converted to gender-neutral, campus officials said. The list hasn’t yet been released.  There is no update yet on when signs will change over, but everyone is excited to see these plans finalized.

Something similar is happening at UNC Charlotte.

The university announced last year that it is working to have a gender-neutral bathroom in each academic building on campus. The first one went in the College of Health and Human Services in fall 2014.

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