Unisex restrooms to become standard on campus

Emma Smith

All three consolidated campuses under Georgia Southern University will be adding unisex restrooms to their campuses starting this semester.

The restrooms will be single-occupancy and in all buildings currently undergoing construction, as well as some preexisting buildings that have not been announced.

Matthew Shingler, a member of the Division of Facilities Services, said the Georgia Southern University design standards are developed based on current code requirements and past historical knowledge. This eventually led to the idea behind the restrooms.

“The standards were developed to ensure that contractors, design-professionals and vendors are all working for the same high set of standards and that the campus maintains a uniform appearance,” Shingler said.

Shingler said the goal for developing the new restrooms was to provide a fully accessible restroom for everyone, including people with disabilities, elders and parents accompanying their children.

Student opinions

Kane Romero, freshman music major, thinks unisex bathrooms are crucial to transgender students.

“I know that I personally never really feel safe using the bathroom in public. However, the unisex bathroom is the closest thing I can get to be able to feel somewhat safe,” Romero said. “It’s hard, especially as a trans guy, to be socially forced to walk into a women’s bathroom.”

Romero said he would like to see more of these bathrooms around campus.

“What’s great about [unisex bathrooms] is that they give trans and non-binary people a place to feel somewhat comfortable to use the bathroom, as well as having no effect on anyone else,” Romero said, 

Moe Wadman, public relations chair of GS’ Gay-Straight Alliance, said she thinks the unisex bathrooms also benefit transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming students.

“This campus is extremely lacking in resources for the LGBTQ+ community and having accessible bathrooms throughout campus would be a great step,” Wadman said. “The safety and comfort of all students should be a priority, and I see absolutely no downside to having unisex bathrooms.”

Emma Smith, News Reporter, gaeditor@georgiasouthern.edu.