The Orion

New restrooms welcome everyone

Mozes Zarate

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Korey Acosta, AS Vice President of Facilities and Services” height=”678

Construction of the first of three gender-inclusive restroom in the Bell Memorial Union wrapped up Monday afternoon.

The restrooms were funded by the Associated Students at Chico State and cost around $140,000 to build, said Kory Acosta, vice president of Facilities and Services.

The intention is to accommodate gender variant students who may not feel comfortable using traditional gender segregated restrooms, Acosta said.

Acosta identifies himself as transgender. The idea to include the restroom in the BMU came from his personal experience interning for the Gender Sexuality and Equity Center.

“I felt invalidated walking into the women’s restroom and felt unsafe walking into the men’s,” Acosta said. “That’s a reality for a lot of students.”

Demand for the BMU restroom had been ongoing for at least five years, with administrators and student union activists in support of its construction, Acosta said.

“We decided that there was a need for it in the student union,” Acosta said. “If this is where we want students to congregate, we have to make it accessible for every single student that we have. We have a diverse student body, and we weren’t servicing gender variant students.”

Construction began over the winter break, or over the past four weeks, Acosta said.

Currently, there are a total of 19 gender inclusive bathrooms on campus in buildings like Kendall Hall and the Student Health Center, according to the Chico State Office of Diversity and Inclusion website.

Acosta said he considers the restrooms’ completion to be a community victory.

“Even though this was a part of my campaign and I take ownership of this actually happening, I feel like its been a struggle within the feminist and the queer community,” Acosta said. “There’s a lot of people who are excited about this. I’m really excited about this.”

 

 

 

Mozes Zarate can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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New restrooms welcome everyone