Gender neutral bathrooms arrive at SRJC


Daniel Kong

SRJC installed gender-neutral bathrooms on campus in January 2015.

Matthew Koch, Staff Writer

Santa Rosa Junior College has installed four gender-neutral bathrooms throughout the campus, with locations in the Bertolini Student Center, Bailey Hall and Button Building with development underway in Plover Hall.

Sabrina Meyer, director of human resources, discovered through the LGBTQ Campus Climate Survey that SRJC is not accommodating to the LGBTQ community. The survey broke SRJC down by eight different areas regarding the environment for people on campus who are a part of the LGBTQ community. SRJC received only one star out of five in LGBTQ campus safety, LGBTQ support and institutional commitment and LGBTQ recruitment and retention areas.

While attending a public display of affection workshop Meyer met a fellow staff member who came out as transgender. It became clear things could be better and more should be done. “SRJC, then, wasn’t as inclusive,” Meyer said, “making people feel awkward or confused as to which gender they resonated with.”

As soon as this issue was made apparent, Paul Bielen, director of facilities, found an appropriate sign and applied them to the bathrooms last fall.

“It’s great when we can all do our part to make this campus feel welcome to all students,” said Rhonda Findling, advisor to the United Sexualities club and active member of the Gay and Lesbian Employees and Friends.

Apart from setting up gender-neutral bathrooms, Meyer also helped set up LGBTQ safe zone placards, which show support for members of the LGBTQ community, obtained through contacting her at [email protected]. Meyer has also set up the preferred name option accessible through the student portal, allowing students to decide what name they choose to be called.

So far, little to no opposition has been raised against the bathrooms. “People are very pleasant about it,” said Meyer, “it’s just a question about putting in regular, single occupant bathrooms.”

Meyer has recommended Bielen create further gender-neutral bathrooms, but has so far received no response whether or not he would.