ISU Introducing 'All Gender' Restrooms

Published 06/20 2014 04:44PM

Updated 06/20 2014 06:30PM

NORMAL - Illinois State University is making a small change to some restroom signs on campus, but it's a change with a big meaning.

Shane McCreery has a simple vision for the campus of Illinois State University. More of the single bathrooms will be "all gender" accessible. That means anyone of any gender can use them.

“For the students and staff, visitors to the campus that will appreciate this sign, it obviously feels good to be able to acknowledge them and evidence our support,” said McCreery, director of the office of equal opportunity at ISU.

Facility workers will change the signs over the summer at the Bone Student Center and residence halls.

"We're only looking at the first wave of changes being about 10 restrooms, and then as new buildings are constructed, obviously there will be more multipurpose restrooms,” explained McCreery.

During the last year, Illinois Wesleyan transitioned five of its academic buildings, as well as its residence halls. University officials say the transition has been seamless.

"It was really primarily a signage change. Um, this was supported by our student senate. It's been supported by our students very openly,” said Karla Carney-Hall, dean of students for IWU.

One stall bathrooms are already private so IWU officials thought they would be the perfect ones to make available to all genders.

"Whether that was some of our LGBT, whether it was families, people who may have more of a chronic illness that may need to take advantage of a little bit more privacy,” said Carney-Hall.

But the school doesn't plan to change everything.

“For folks that still prefer to be in a single gender bathroom, that's absolutely still possible in all of our buildings,” said Carney-Hall.

And McCreery is optimistic that the success at IWU will translate in Normal.

“It's really nice to be involved in something that's going to have a positive impact,” said McCreery.

ISU should have all the sign changes in place by the beginning of the fall semester. The cost of 10 new signs will be less than $200.

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