Editorial: Ability to locate “gender neutral” restrooms a necessary update for students

Isd Editorial Staff

The world we live in is constantly changing, and for the most part, the world’s inhabitants are either able to or willing to change along with it. We try to keep up with the latest fashion trends, our various feeds are constantly updating, so we’re always in the know and it seems almost every day that some new improvement is being made to our already impressive arsenal of technology.

Given the fact that Iowa State’s campus is, in essence, its own functioning world, these ideas are applicable in most every way. Students are very aware of the goings on when it comes to campus life and are, in turn, always evolving.

But humans, as a rule, have a much easier time changing than perhaps the physical environment around them, which is understandable. For example, The Hub, Morrill Hall and the Campanile have resided on campus since 1898 and are obviously still huge parts of campus lifestyle.

These structures are hugely important to the history of this beautiful university, which will be the home of approximately 36,000 students this year, but no one is suggesting to alter or take away these landmarks. There are, however, some smaller details nestled away in other halls that are in dire need of an update to keep up with the ever-changing culture.

The LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community has a huge presence on campus and does great things by helping any student who is struggling with issues pertaining to their sexuality. The organization has several events scheduled to reach out to new students, including the ice cream social at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Student Services Building and game night Tuesday.

Students who face the challenges openly are growing in numbers across the board, but recently, in the media especially, the world has started to be just as accepting toward someone who is transgender as it has been toward someone who is gay or lesbian.

This past July the world met Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, and watched as she bravely and honestly let the world see what living a life you don’t feel was meant for you, was like. The response has been tremendously positive and was ultimately the first domino that has sparked necessary conversations about the “T” in LGBT, which had previously flown under the radar.

One of these conversations needs to occur on campus in regard to accommodations for transgender students. One of the things discussed on TV shows like “I am Cait” or “Becoming Us,” which cover the topic of transitioning, is the dilemma of which restroom to use.

In March, students and professionals involved in the Iowa State LGBT community set out to map all the gender-neutral restrooms on campus in order to ensure the safety and comfort of any transgender, non-binary and non-gender specific students and to hopefully make adjustments to current restrooms.

This is great, but there is no easy way to know where these restrooms are located. Adding online or adding a section to the MyState App that shows the location of these single-stall, family-style restrooms on campus would help make these students feel more comfortable.