Expansion would be superfluous, ineffective

A recent article in the Daily Trojan reported what many of us already knew: USC is especially welcoming toward members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community when compared with other universities. 

USC’s LGBT Student Resource Center has drawn significantly more students this year, and its establishment in 2005 has helped the university make its way toward the top of the list for LGBT college applicants.

All of this is undoubtedly positive and promising. But one aspect of the LGBT Student Resource Center’s plan is questionable: the push for more gender-neutral restrooms on campus.

Twelve buildings on campus currently have gender-neutral restrooms (a bathroom that bears male and female signs on the door), and many in the LGBT community would like this number to increase.

The community has voiced concern that transgender individuals might feel uncomfortable or be harassed when using single-sex restrooms.

But at a place where an LGBT student is purportedly treated as an equal to any other given student, do we really need to waste time, thought and money on a project that would likely be superfluous?

If we are such a tolerant, integrative university then why are protective measures in restrooms even necessary?

Gender-neutral bathrooms are not the next great step in advancing LGBT rights. Though they would help to make transgender students feel more comfortable, the LGBT center and QuASA should focus their efforts on larger issues affecting the LGBT community.

This isn’t to say gender-neutral bathrooms should not exist at all; rather, 12 of them are enough to serve the campus.

USC students, regardless of his or her personal opinion about LGBT rights, should have the common decency to treat every person with respect, or at the very least not attack a person in the restroom because he or she appears to be transgender.

As a university filled with intelligent people trying to attain higher knowledge and to hopefully make positive contributions to society, it is unlikely that something as basic as who one chooses to have sex with or which gender they identify with would incite such intolerance as to cause an issue with single-sex restrooms. To assume otherwise is almost insulting.

The American Disabilities Act stipulates that buildings make accessible restrooms available, these accessible restrooms often being

The new buildings soon to grace our campus are likely to add to the count of gender-neutral bathrooms as a result of the ADA. There is no problem with this. But an attempt to build more gender-neutral restrooms for the purpose of making transgender students feel more accommodated might actually be unnecessary.

Placing such an emphasis on extending congruity to somewhere like the restroom is unnecessary. It draws more attention to the differences that exist among gay, straight and transgender individuals.

Our university has consistently been deemed one of the most LGBT-friendly campuses and our students have repeatedly demonstrated integrity and respect for difference, and it is ludicrous to claim that not offering enough gender-neutral restrooms for transgender students could change or diminish these facts.

The status of our university as one of the most LGBT-friendly should be celebrated. It is more than unfortunate that institutions and individuals still make members of the LGBT community uncomfortable, or even condemn them for their sexual preferences.

We have shown, as a community, that we are not stuck in the dark ages of intolerance toward people of different sexual orientations and have set an example for other institutions for how to make LGBT students feel welcomed.

Throwing money at gender-neutral bathrooms, however, will not make any groundbreaking, positive difference.


Sarah Cueva is a sophomore majoring in political science. Her point runs Fridays. 

5 replies
  1. Bruce S.
    Bruce S. says:

    Is there no end to the whining and the requests for special privileges? Anybody else out there getting sick of this craziness from the crazies?

  2. Jaylyn
    Jaylyn says:

    I believe that Miss Cueva has painted an excellent picture of how USC SHOULD be, but unfortunately this idealistic picture can be far from the truth. It’s like if I lock my bike up on campus. It SHOULD be there when I get back, right? I mean we go to USC. So there’s no way that anyone would be disrespectful enough to steal from a fellow Trojan. Plus the lock in place should be enough to prevent anything bad from happening. We’re all intelligent to know that stealing bikes is wrong. It’s not like we live in the dark ages where you go raid villages and take what you want. Yet people’s bike still get stolen all the time. And it doesn’t matter if you went weeks, months, or even years at SC without getting your bike stolen because the moment it does happen to you or someone you know, you are going to be concerned about it happening again. So even if we go as far as to say the majority of USC students are tolerant enough to not harass transgender students, it only takes one person, one instance to make someone like Anon question their environment or feel unsafe.

  3. Jeremy
    Jeremy says:

    Describing a gender neutral affordance for the school as superfluous due to how LGBT friendly our campus can be compared to saying we don’t need DPS funding because our campus is so safe. Or not passing an equal rights bill because we attended a pride parade.

    The writer is making huge idealistic assumptions without considering that taking steps like including these restrooms on campus are what actually brings us as a community closer to that ideal. We are FAR from having reached that point. The world doesn’t yet run on common decency and awareness, as fabulous as that would be.

  4. Mike Hawk
    Mike Hawk says:

    Yes, and we should all bake a cake made of rainbows and everyone could share it and peace and happiness would settle across the Earth.

    Check your privilege people.

  5. Anon
    Anon says:

    Considering I was just a victim to physical and verbal assault for being transgender by a USC Student, I think the idealistic bubble of wonderful accepting equality that you have portrayed in this article is ENTIRELY invalid.

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