The lack of restrooms that are available for any student, no matter what gender they prefer, on Alma’s campus is something to question.
You may not have noticed this issue because it doesn’t particularly affect you, but for the students that it does, it is more than an inconvenience.
There are very few all gender bathrooms in common areas of campus, and this problem needs to be solved. There are students on our own campus who have nowhere to do something that everyone does, and no one can help.
It’s time we start growing with society and creating spaces that allow people to use the bathroom if they need to, just like everyone else can.
There is a solution to this issue — we need single use bathrooms that are accessible and plenty around campus. These can be used by anyone, no matter what gender they identify as.
In the end, no one would be inconvenienced. A lot of people would be helped, and a positive change would be made!
I think the first step of this process should be addressing the few all gender bathrooms that already exist on our campus.
The most well-known all gender bathrooms are the ones on the first floor of Dow. These are routinely disgusting. The smell carries past the door, and the toilets are always very dirty.
The point is there, but Trans students deserve the basic decency of having a restroom that is useable.
Another gender inclusive bathroom used to exist across from Tyler Van Dusen but has since been removed and painted over. There are only male and female bathrooms in Saga, as well as the rec center.
There are no public all gender bathrooms in SAC, but students are allowed to use the one in the teacher’s lounge on the first floor if needed.
It is absolutely not okay that a student may have to walk up and/or down three flights of stairs just to use the restroom during class.
This issue has surpassed being just an inconvenience to students who need single use bathrooms. It can interfere with their health and disrupt their education because they would need to walk up and down flights of stairs which would cause them to miss more class time than those who could just use the restroom down the hall.
Because of the fact that I am cisgender, I have spoken to many individuals with whom the lack of all gender bathrooms effects. I then decided to use my voice as a staff member of The Almanian to broadcast their worries.
“If I’m somewhere like the rec or SAC, I’ll have to walk across campus just to use the bathroom,” said Oliver Labuda (’22). Labuda also stated that they sometimes leave SAC during class to use the single use restroom in the Eddy Music Hall.
Other students opened up to me about their struggles with not having a bathroom that is accessible to them.
“I have taken to social media to speak out about the issue,” said David Parnell III (’21) who has spoken with members of administration about the lack of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus.
“Your Trans students just need your actions to speak,” Parnell stated in a tweet that got several likes and retweets from other Alma students.
The school has taken a step by making bathrooms of dorm buildings single person use because anyone can use and access them at any point.
If we had more areas like this around campus, it would be a step towards making Trans students on campus feel a little more comfortable.
When you have a marginalized group speaking out and asking, “hey, we need this thing to make us feel more humane on your campus,” and the issue only seems to get worse, there needs to be a call to action.
The college should take responsibility for this mistake and allocate more bathrooms around campus to being single use, all gendered and easily accessible. This is a small step that could help many students at Alma who deserve comfortability.
Next time you’re walking around common areas of campus buildings, check the bathrooms. If you see an all gender bathroom, check the conditions. If none are satisfactory, or there isn’t one in sight, realize that.
Alma College, we want to see change. As long as everyone pees, they all deserve a place to be able to do so.