University of Alaska opens first all-gender restroom

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FAIRBANKS — University of Alaska has opened its first all-gender restroom at the Fairbanks campus’ engineering building.

 

The restroom is open to all people regardless of gender identity. It features private, lockable stalls in an inclusive and genderless manner, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported Monday.

University spokeswoman Marmian Grimes said the idea had been in the works for a while.

Jenny Campbell, director of design and construction for the University of Alaska Facility Services, said that the idea came to life when the Department of Education published its 2016 “Dear Colleague” letter outlining the need for Title IX compliance in campuses across the country.

Then-interim Chancellor Dana Thomas approached the design team with the idea for an inclusive, all-gender bathroom in the new engineering building.

“He really put a big push on it, saying we need to pay attention to this letter,” Campbell said. “So we did an assessment of all of our accessibility on campus.”

Campbell said the restroom is modeled after European restrooms, with stall walls going from floor to ceiling.

Campbell said that student input has been overwhelmingly positive.

“A professor walked by and I was chatting with her and she teaches in the classroom next to the restroom and I asked her how students felt about it and she said, ‘They love it, I haven’t heard one negative thing about it,’” Campbell said. “So that was nice to hear.”

Campbell said more all-gender bathrooms are possible across campus, especially in new buildings. All of the university’s single-person restrooms were converted to all-gender in 2016.

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