Lied Rec To Welcome Gender Neutral Bathrooms

Jordan Tovar

Student Government recently passed a bill for a gender-neutral bathroom to be installed at Lied Recreation Athletic Center.


 The project will cost around $64,000 with $32,000 coming from Student Government and the other half coming from the Office of Student Affairs. 


Kit Clayburn, a junior majoring in both animal ecology and biology, penned the bill with Alexandra Finaldi, a senior majoring in political science. Clayburn also serves as a member of the Diversity and Inclusion and Finance committees, being the director of the latter. 


Clayburn recalls September 27, 2020 as the day he was asked by diversity and inclusion committee members to look into the presence of gender neutral bathrooms with the Department of Residence and the Memorial Union. He found that both had plans to implement these or already had some. 


Next on the list to check with was Rec Services in which Clayburn took a tour of the rec centers around campus where he found that only two-thirds of them had multiple gender neutral bathrooms. The outlier? Lied Rec Center with zero such bathrooms. 


He wanted to change this, and thus the project was set into motion.

Clayburn cited his experiences of being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and having peers who identify as non-binary as motivation for him to take on this project. 


“The reason that I wanted to do this project was because I have friends who identify as non-binary and I also know people who like to work out, like to be active, like to be fit, and there wasn’t a presence of bathroom space if they are non-binary or don’t feel comfortable going to the gender specific bathrooms,” Clayburn said.


Going beyond gender neutrality, Clayburn gave other uses the bathroom could have, such as being a private area for diabetics to change out their insulin pump instead of trying to do it in a busy area. 


It meant a lot to Clayburn when the bill finally passed as he felt that his hard work had finally paid off, and he even said he felt a bit emotional about it during his closing statements.


“As a freshman, first year coming from a small town, I never really knew how universities worked, but just seeing the experience and getting this two years of experience from the bill from the bathroom was something that felt like a relief when it did pass because my goal for Student Government was to make a change on campus,” Clayburn said.