The home of student protest against free speech will soon offer co-ed locker rooms. The University of California-Berkeley just announced renovations to its recreational sports facility change rooms to make them “gender-inclusive,” The College Fix reports.
The estimated cost of the work is $2.7 million, but the penny-pinching university that claims it had to raise tuition fees to make ends meet needn’t worry about the money: it’s being funded by the school’s Wellness Initiative Fee that the students have to pay when they attend the university.
Berkeley can soon say it will be the first academic facility within the UC matrix to have a gender-neutral area on this scale. Hitherto, Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium Fitness Center was equipped with diminutive changing rooms that were first constructed in 2014.
Renovations to the 4,500 square foot building are expected to begin next spring and will feature those little gender-neutral extras like private showers, lockers and toilets. There is even a gender-neutral exit to the main swimming pool planned.
The Associated Students of University California, the Gender Equity Resource Center and the Recreational Sports department — which all call the Berkeley campus home — have joined forces to make this “tangible service” a reality.
“This locker room project not only symbolically affirms our campus values of inclusivity and access for all, but it provides a tangible service for students who are currently being underserved,” said Associated Students President Will Morrow in an online statement. “At the core of this project is a commitment to student holistic wellness — physical, mental, and emotional. In providing a safe and inclusive changing space, the RSF is adapting to better serve the wellness of all members of our campus community.”
Whether anyone on campus is actually complaining about the dearth of gender-neutral facilities remains a mystery. The university’s recreational sports spokesman, Andy Davis, did not provide a comment to The College Fix, nor did GenEq director Billy Curtis.