Gender inclusive restrooms open in Parks Library


Jordyn DuBois/Iowa State Daily

Assistant dean of inclusion and diversity Susan Vega Garcia cuts the ribbon to the new gender inclusive restroom in Park Library.The ribbon cutting took place on Wednesday Oct. 31, in Parks Library in front of the first floor restrooms. 

Jordyn Dubois

A couple weeks after the bathroom renovations in Parks Library were completed, faculty members and students came together for the official ribbon cutting of the restroom renovation.

The ribbon ceremony for the new first floor restrooms took place at 12 p.m. Wednesday. 

Starting in the summer of 2018 bathrooms in Parks Library have been undergoing renovations to add gender inclusive restrooms, a remodeled women’s restroom and a new lactation room for new mothers. The renovation made bathrooms more accessible as well as Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) approved.

All five floors of the Parks Library now meet these standards with the completion of renovations. Restrooms in the North of Parks Library will be following in the remodel after this school year.

“I think campus leadership support for this project shows how much we value accessible restrooms, how much we value safe places for [the] individuals in our community who might want safe and separate restroom experiences and also for modern, updated and working restrooms,” said Beth McNeil, dean of library services.

The gender inclusive, family restrooms on each floor make it possible for all people to enjoy their restroom experience. These single-use restrooms include changing tables for families as well as space for wheelchair access.

“We’ve needed something like this for a very long time and it’s great thats it’s finally a reality, and I’m very happy that we’re celebrating it in this kind of way,” said Susan Vega Garcia, the assistant dean in inclusion and diversity.

The restroom renovations are currently in year one of a two year project with the men’s restroom renovations set to start in the summer. Those restrooms will be updated to be larger, nicer and ADA compliant. The custodians will also be getting a larger custodial closet included in the new remodel.

“Libraries are about education, about access to information, about entertainment and about making safe spaces. At ISU and in Parks Library, we strive to meet these goals,” McNeil said.