Gender-neutral bathroom, Leavey resolutions pass


Undergraduate Student Government senators unanimously approved two resolutions advocating for the renovation of Leavey Library and the installation of a gender-neutral bathroom in the Student Union on Tuesday.

USG uses resolutions to communicate the collective opinion of the student body to the administration.

Passed · The USG Senate passed a resolution for renovations to Leavey Library and a gender-neutral bathroom in the Student Union on Tuesday. - Ani Kolangian | Daily Trojan

The passage of the gender-neutral bathroom resolution coincides with a key step toward the creation of a gender-neutral housing pilot program on the Rainbow Floor, a special interest housing option for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and allies in Century Apartments. USG senators signed off on a resolution before spring break advocating for the pilot program.

[Correction: A previous version indicated that the USC Board of Trustees approved the gender-inclusive housing pilot program. It was not approved by the Board of Trustees but rather campus administration. The Daily Trojan regrets the error.]

While Josh DeMilta, USG director of diversity affairs, said the step is important, he said it does not guarantee that there will be a gender-neutral housing option next year.

“This accomplishment was a huge hurdle, but there is still some work to be done [before] it’s a done deal,” DeMilta said.

The gender-neutral bathroom resolution proposes redesignating an existing bathroom in the Student Union to a gender-neutral bathroom because of its proximity to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center.

Of 294 respondents to a USG survey, 85 percent of students said they support making a single-occupancy bathroom in the Student Union gender-neutral, according to the resolution.

“We want all students at USC to feel comfortable, welcome and have their basic needs addressed,” USG President Monish Tyagi said.

The Leavey Library renovation is in the study stage and no fixed timeline has been set for the project, said Hugh McHarg, executive director of communications and public programming for USC Libraries.

“There is tremendous enthusiasm and support for making Leavey … to be a center for student intellectual life on campus,” McHarg said.

Greek Sen. Andres Guarnizo-Ospina, who authored the resolution, said he hopes the resolution will expedite the resolution process.

“The idea is that by supporting this renovation, the administration will go quicker and students will be better off when the resolution is done,” he said.

Guarnizo-Ospina said students expressed needs for improvements ranging from updating the furniture to providing more space.

Arye Lavin, a freshman majoring in neuroscience, said he believes the facility needs aesthetic improvements.

“The walls need to be repainted,” said Lavin, who studies in the library regularly.

“The color temperature in Leavey is not conducive to proper studying.”

During Tuesday’s Senate meeting, the Senate also introduced a resolution fully supporting USC’s specific plan to renovate the University Village.

The resolution will be voted on next week, the last official Senate meeting before USG officers for the 2012-2013 school year are sworn in on April 3.

  • Smarky

    I heard they were going to force God fearing Christians from Orange County to live on the Rainbow floor to teach them a lesson.

  • USCLGBT

    To clarify about the gender inclusive housing please read statement below:

    The proposal for a gender-inclusive housing pilot on the Rainbow Floor has been reviewed and approved by the University of Southern California. After consulting with university senior leadership and Housing and Auxiliary Services, Vice President for Students Affairs Michael Jackson approved the pilot program on the Rainbow Floor effective fall 2012. This program is only available for upperclass students who choose to live on the Rainbow Floor, a special interest residential community for LGBT students and their supportive Allies, in Century Apartments. The LGBT Resource Center and Office for Residential Education will coordinate the implementation of this program and evaluate its overall effectiveness.

    For additional information about this new gender inclusive living on the Rainbow Floor, please contact Vincent Vigil, Director for the LGBT Resource Center, at vincenev@usc.edu or (213) 740-7619.

  • Lynda

    I don’t know what all of the fuss is about. It sounds like a 1 bathroom with a male and female sign on the door.

  • Lauren

    A gender neutral bathroom is a *single occupancy* restroom, not a multi-stall bathroom open to anyone who wants to wander in. Good lord. Use your brain for once before you speak.

  • Little Guy

    Gender-neurtral bathroom? So does that mean my “little guy” down there will be even more nervous as I urinate while females are present? He hides when it’s cold, and he’s little when he’s shy. Geez! Give me…or him, a break!