ASU takes steps toward gender-neutral equality

Education | 1 May, 2015 |

Arizona State University is making gender equality efforts starting at home. Tempe campus’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG) passed Senate Bill 81 (SB81) to enable gender-neutral bathrooms and housing floors across ASU.

Barrett, the Honors College’s Senator Daniel Martin wants to welcome individuals of all typical gender binary.

“What we’re looking to do here is get rid of the gender binary terms that are restricting people,” Martin said.

According to Tempe campus’s USG President Cassidy Possehl, ASU is behind on the cultural progression.

“There is such a strong culture of acceptance and diversity within the student body, but it seems that within the larger infrastructure of the university, things are lagging behind. USG has always been at the forefront of pushing for those infrastructural changes in collaboration with a lot of other student groups,” she said.

The bill would advocate changing current bathrooms sings and one floor of each residential building from one-gendered to neutral-gendered, according to Martin.

Arizona State University student and member of LGBT community Jay Gress has faith that ASU’s efforts are being heard.

“Lately I’ve been seeing gender neutral bathrooms at various locations,” he said, “just seeing small acts like this makes me feel assured that the human race is moving in the right direction, no matter how quickly,” he said.

Martin said modifications are projected to take place as early the next academic year.

I am confident that, if housing is willing, the changes could be made for the housing cycle beginning in the fall of 2016,” he said.

Gress has positive thoughts on ASU’s efforts for gender equality. Even identifying as a gay member of the LGBT community, he admits he is still learning,

“I was unaware that there were enough transgender students at ASU for whole dorm floors across campus,” he said.

USG holds power to their campus, so further collaborations will have to be made to enable modifications across all other campuses, according to Martin.

SB 81 specifically advocates for the changes to be made in Tempe because that is the limit of the power of the Senate; however, next year I hope that there will be collaboration between all of the USG’s and we can institute these changes (or even expand them) upon all campuses,” he said.

At this time, USG has passed the bill and is waiting for outside administration to take further action.

I hoped that passing this bill would give some urgency and sense of purpose to the potential advocates for Gender Neutral facilities.”

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