Unisex b-rooms axed on 3rd floor Martinetti

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Unisex b-rooms axed on 3rd floor Martinetti

Sign in Martinetti proclaiming the end of an era

Sign in Martinetti proclaiming the end of an era

Ben Simone

Sign in Martinetti proclaiming the end of an era

Ben Simone

Ben Simone

Sign in Martinetti proclaiming the end of an era

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During the week of February break, the bathrooms on the third floor of Martinetti changed from unisex to male and female designated.

The bathrooms switched due to a combination of input from students in previous years, and having an equal amount of males and females on the floor second semester.

According to Jeff Bickford, assistant director of residence life, two to three years ago there was pushback to the unisex bathrooms. It was this semester that the imbalance of genders on the third floor ended and the change was made back to unisex. “Going into the fall semester Marinetti third floor was over 70 percent women,” Bickford said. “Obviously we can’t have designated bathrooms at that point.”

Now that the balance has shifted back to an even amount of each gender, residence life made the decision to go back to separate gender bathrooms.

Bickford said that the plan for next year is to have them designated separate genders, as the gender population stays balanced. He said that the only response he received from a floor meeting about the change was that people were not used to it.

On the topic of students who don’t identify as male or female, Bickford said that changing the bathrooms wasn’t meant as a slight towards them, and that there will always be a gender-neutral bathroom on the second floor.

Bickford also said that the reaction has been that students generally prefer single sex bathrooms here.

“We certainly are doing our best to be sensitive to people who don’t identify with a gender,” Bickford said. “Designating bathrooms is not about ignoring their needs or being callous to their needs in any way.”

Bickford said he is looking at having another gender-neutral living space for fall of 2015.

Ben White and Marissa Taylor are students who live on the third floor Martinetti. They both say that they have not noticed a really big difference in having the bathrooms separate now, nor have they noticed a big pushback against it or any opinions surrounding it.

Elizabeth Livingston is a student who lives on the third floor as well. Livingston said she identifies as male and female while also identifying as neither. She said that she feels more comfortable in the male bathroom than the female bathroom but is afraid of being written up.

“I would like to be able to stay on the same floor,” Livingston said. “And not have to move to the second floor just to have a bathroom I feel comfortable and safe in.”

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