As students explore the halls of the Manning Academic Center, many have taken notice of the recently added all-gender restrooms.
Natalie Gillard, the assistant vice president of multicultural experience, explained that all-gender restrooms are an “absolute must” on campus and has been working with the Diversity Ambassadors to convert every single-stall restroom on each of the three campuses to be recognized as all-gender restrooms. As of now, all single-stall restrooms on Owings Mills north have been equipped with the proper signage, and Gillard is in the process of obtaining signage for the Owings Mills and Greenspring campuses.
While there has not been any backlash so far about the all-gender restrooms, Gillard explained that the community needs to become more knowledgeable about transgender issues. In an attempt to educate students, staff and faculty, Gillard said that the school is looking into offering safe zone training, which will help to “support [Stevenson’s] stance to have clearly identified bathrooms for all genders on campus,” she added.
Shannon Williams, an individual who will be utilizing the all-gender restrooms, said that she has never felt alienated from the Stevenson community in terms of being accepted. Williams believes that all-gender bathrooms are a good addition to the campuses, calling Stevenson’s impetus for all-gender restrooms “the icing on the cake.”
According to Gillard, all-gender restrooms show that Stevenson is being proactive about diversity. She described diversity as a “plethora of things” and urged the community to attend events held through the Office of Multicultural Experience. Gillard said that Stevenson is “evolving and trying to become more inclusive,” so attendance at these events would be a step in the right direction toward embracing Stevenson’s diversity statement.
As of now, the all-gender restrooms are single-stall facilities, but Gillard’s long-term goal is to have all-gender, multi-stall restrooms throughout campus. She strongly encourages students and faculty to utilize whichever restrooms they feel comfortable using.