Senate expresses support for transgender, gender non-conforming students


Courtesy of ISU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transexual Student Services

Gender-Inclusive restroom locations on ISU’s campus. 

Alex Connor

Student Government passed a resolution Wednesday evening in support of transgender and gender non-conforming students, asking administration to prioritize gender inclusive restrooms on campus.

Approved by unanimous consent, the resolution also calls for Iowa State to “require gender-inclusive restrooms in any requests for proposals for new facilities or building expansions on or off campus.

According to a map provided by the Center for LGBTQIA+ Student Success, there are 30 gender-inclusive restrooms on campus.

The Center defines a gender-inclusive restroom as “a single stall, lockable restroom, open to the public, with signage that indicates that anyone may use that restroom, regardless of gender.”

The resolution was introduced by Sen. Lilian Juma, Sen. Kylee Cox, Vice President Cody Smith and Senior Director of Academic Affairs Kara Masteller.

“We recognize that there are several students on our campus that do not identify as cisgender (binary) and may not feel comfortable using restrooms labeled male or female,” according to the resolution. “We believe Iowa State University should work to make our campus more inclusive to these students.”

The Pride Alliance Vice President Trinity Dearborn was invited to speak to the Senate during the meeting, where they discussed the importance of Iowa State moving toward a better campus. 

“I find it extremely important for accessibility and inclusivity to have gender-neutral bathrooms,” they said. 

Before the resolution was approved, Sen. Jacob Schrader asked what the process looks like from here.

Smith said that the resolution by itself sends a message to the university and administration about what should be prioritized, but will also spark discussion among key stakeholders and continue the dialogue on becoming a more inclusive campus. 

Dearborn said that having more gender-inclusive restrooms are important because students shouldn’t be ridiculed or criticized for how they appear when using the bathroom.