The University of Missouri (MU) is renaming its “Unisex” restrooms on campus in response to complaints that the current label isn’t inclusive.
Henceforth, restrooms intended for use by both men and women will simply be labeled “toilet.” The change is apparently meant to accommodate student complaints that the “unisex” label, intended to encompass everybody, is actually exclusionary and hurtful.
“Unisex is just such an uncomfortable and outdated word,” MU student Sterling Waldman told the Columbia Missourian. The word, Waldman said, excludes people who identify as neither male nor female. Waldman serves as the social justice chair in MU’s student senate, and successfully pushed for the student government to donate $5000 for the sake of relabeling bathrooms around campus. (RELATED: Conn. Government Denounces Those Who Believe In Only Two Genders)
That’s not enough money to replace every relevant sign on campus, though. According to MU spokesman Nathan Hurst, it will cost at least $11,600 to change relevant signs for all 28 unisex restrooms on campus, a figure of over $400 per bathroom. The school currently doesn’t have the money to do that, thanks to budget cuts that have accompanied a major drop in enrollment this school year.
Waldman says that’s unfortunate, as the school currently has “not even close to enough” non-gendered toilets on campus and needs to build more.
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