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Saturday, May 28, 2022
ASM committee pushes petition urging university restroom inclusivity

ASM committee pushes petition urging university restroom inclusivity

An online petition from the Associated Student of Madison’s Equity and Inclusion Committee calls on the university to draft a usage policy — which would encourage students to use the bathroom that they are most comfortable using — by mid-April.

Committee Chair Alex Hader said the petition was launched earlier Monday and currently has 62 signatures.

While buildings can post their own signs encouraging students to use whichever restroom makes them most comfortable — such as those at College Library — there is no campus wide policy on the matter. As a result, which bathroom students should use could be “challenged,” Hader said.

“It is extremely important that the university implement a restroom usage policy to show their commitment to supporting members of our transgender and non-binary community,” Hader said. “Regardless of gender identity and gender expression all students, staff, faculty and visitors on campus should be able to use the restroom without being harassed or discriminated against.”

According to the petition, Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration Laurent Heller and Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf have stated their support for a university usage policy. The petition also cites the Campus Climate Survey which found that 33 percent of trans and non-binary students said they dealt with hostility, harassment or intimidating behavior on campus.

“A usage policy for students to be allowed to use the restroom that correlates with their gender identity and gender expression without having to face discrimination and harassment from others, is a necessary and no-cost way to show that we as a university support our trans and non-binary students, faculty, and staff,” the petition said. “This policy is urgent and necessary to ensure that all people at this university feel safe and welcome.

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