Mesa Community College (MCC) offers gender neutral restrooms for its students who prefer a single-user experience.
Across the Southern & Dobson and Red Mountain campuses these one person, gender-neutral and non-binary bathrooms have been converted from family restrooms.
Each restroom is clearly labeled with the international symbol for Inclusive Restrooms: a man and a woman separated by a line beside the symbol for handicapped access. Inclusive restrooms are also open to families, other single users, and are available for handicapped access.
The bathrooms were built in compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
Title IX was passed in 1972 by President Nixon to combat gender discrimination on college campuses.
Its original intent was to ensure equal treatment and enrollment amongst women in education, but has since expanded to combat sexual assaults and non-binary gender discrimination on educational campuses.
Red X’s indicates Inclusive restrooms on the Southern & Dobson campus.
According to The United States Department of Justice, “Title IX is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. The principal objective of Title IX is to avoid the use of federal money to support sex discrimination in education programs and to provide individual citizens effective protection against those practices.”
Since Mesa Community College is a federally funded public institution, it is obligated to provide equal treatment and facilities.
As stated by The United States Department of Justice, “Title IX applies, with a few specific exceptions, to all aspects of federally funded education programs or activities.
In addition to traditional educational institutions such as colleges, universities, and elementary and secondary schools, Title IX also applies to any education or training program operated by a recipient of federal financial assistance.”
Students who require new facilities or see problems in the existing facilities are encouraged to reach out to Cindy Jepsen in Compliance Services or the Office of the Title IX Coordinator.
A male-transgender MCC student agreed to speak to the MesaCC Legend. For his personal safety his name will be omitted.
When asked, the interviewee said, “I’d rather my name be left out for safety reasons, but I do identify as a transgender male that use he/him pronoun.”
Q: Does the installation of gender neutral restrooms have any effect on your day-to-day student life?
A: There are often times that I get scared of using gendered bathrooms due to fear of harassment for who I am, so I see gender natural bathrooms as a safe area for me and those who are in a similar situation as I am.
Q: Do inclusive restrooms change your perception OF THE CAMPUS AND ITS ADMINISTRATION?
A: I’m appreciative of the accommodations the campus offers for all types of people. It makes me feel included and safe.
Q: Does the inclusion of Gender Neutral restrooms affect quality of life on campus?
A: I believe that the inclusion of gender neutral bathrooms will positively affect not just transgender and non-binary people, but those with disabilities that need more room than a small stall or those with public anxiety.
Q: Are there any additional steps you would like to see the campus take?
A: I think the campus is doing a pretty good job on being inclusive and the gender neutral bathrooms is a big help.
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