Resolution for gender-neutral pilot program passes

The Undergraduate Student Government Senate considered resolutions Tuesday advocating the creation and expansion of gender-neutral accommodations for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students, and considered a resolution regarding Leavey Library’s renovation.

The Senate unanimously passed a resolution proposing a pilot program for gender-neutral housing and tabled a resolution calling for a gender-neutral bathroom in the Student Union.

Tabled · Residential Sen. Marissa Roy (left), Greek Sen. Cody Rapp (center) and Commuter Sen. Howard Chang (left) vote for a resolution for a housing pilot program. - Ani Kolangian | Daily Trojan

Resolutions serve as USG’s formal method of communicating the collective opinion of the student body to the administration.

The Senate unanimously chose to defer a vote on the gender-neutral bathroom resolution for two weeks because it was based off a survey with a small sample size of 94 students.

“My concern is not on the issue itself,” said USG Senate Pro Tempore and Vice President-elect Vinnie Prasad during discussion of the resolution. “The purpose of a resolution is to represent the entire student body. We believe that most students want this, but we can’t say that we know.”

Some students said they believe gender-neutral bathrooms are unnecessary.

“I don’t really see the need for it if there are already men’s bathrooms and women’s bathrooms,” said Craig Handy, a senior majoring in business administration.

Residential Sen. Keshav Tyagi, who authored the gender-neutral bathroom resolution, said, however, the bathrooms are necessary in making the campus a more comfortable environment for transgender students.

Tyagi said he is in favor of tabling the resolution to gather more survey responses. Three to four senators will volunteer to serve on a committee to elicit more input on the gender-neutral housing issue, USG Vice President Logan Lachman said.

The gender-neutral housing resolution, which the Senate passed unanimously, proposes a pilot program on the Rainbow Floor, a special interest community for LGBT students and allies in Century Apartments.

Many students said such a program would benefit participants without hindering those who do not partake.

“It could please a lot of people and it wouldn’t affect other people if they didn’t want to participate in it,” said Amanda Mitchell, a freshman majoring in international relations.

During the meeting, Greek Sen. Andres Guarnizo-Ospina introduced a resolution in support of a renovation plan for Leavey Library. According to the resolution, an architectural firm conducted an assessment of a possible Leavey renovation last summer. In addition, Dean of Libraries Catherine Quinlan hosted focus groups with students, faculty and staff.

“The renovation is hopefully something that students will be interested in doing,” Guarnizo-Ospina said. “A lot of people think Leavey is outdated, from what I can gather.”

The Leavey Library resolution will be voted on after spring break.

6 replies
  1. Mike
    Mike says:

    Instead of addressing more pressing issues, our USG is wasting time on gender neutral bathrooms? Way to put students’ fees to work guys…

  2. Mr. Trojan
    Mr. Trojan says:

    I don’t understand why it matters whether the majority of students think we need the restrooms or not. When did we get to vote on whether we need men’s and women’s restrooms? It is a human’s right to have a restroom that they can use with dignity.

    Also, they’re only asking for ONE! Could you imagine only having one bathroom you could to go to on campus every time you needed to relieve yourself? How inconvenient! They really are not asking for much–just equal treatment by the university for a basic need.

    USCLGBT says:

    “I really don’t see the need for it if there are already men’s bathrooms and women’s bathrooms” — this is exactly why we must continue to educate the USC community and gender identity/expression issues.

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