University of Alaska Fairbanks has installed its first transgender-friendly restroom, following in the footsteps of many other schools and workplaces that built new facilities or created new restroom signs so people who identify with any gender feel comfortable.
The Alaska university’s engineering building will host the all-gender restroom, an idea that took root after the Obama administration’s Department of Education (DOE) republished its “Dear Colleague” letter in 2016, outlining Title IX compliance guidelines for university campuses. University of Alaska Facility Services director Jenny Campbell said the renewed call to assess its inclusive restroom access inspired the university to take action, according to the Daily News Miner.
“Some said men, some said women, some said family,” Campbell said, explaining that the restrooms currently denote students should use the bathroom that corresponds with their sex. “And we changed them all to just all-encompassing restrooms and that was an easy first step for us because it was inexpensive, no construction, just changing signs,” she added, noting that the change was relatively easy and inexpensive.
Campbell added that students’ reactions have been extremely positive. “They love it, I haven’t heard one negative thing about it,” Campbell said.
The university is now considering putting more gender inclusive restrooms in all its new buildings on campus. Doing so would require construction and more hefty costs than those involved with the new signs.
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