Rutgers has 119 gender-neutral bathrooms on campus
Rutgers is one of the most LGBTQ-friendly schools in the nation, in part due to the school's gender-neutral bathrooms and resources for transgender students.
Rutgers offers single-user restrooms labeled as either “All Gender” or “Unisex” in campus residence halls, said Zaneta Rago-Craft, acting director of the Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities.
There are about 10 gender-neutral bathrooms on Livingston campus, 14 on Busch campus, 50 on the College Avenue campus and 45 on the Cook/Douglass campus. In total, Rutgers has 119 gender-neutral bathrooms.
Some single-person restrooms have “men” or “women" labels. Rutgers is looking into making these signs display “All Gender.”
Public restrooms and locker rooms are available for use based upon a student’s preferred gender, not their biological sex, according to the Rutgers Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities website.
“Under the University’s policy of nondiscrimination, which includes gender identity and expression, individuals may use a gender-specific restroom or locker room facility that corresponds with their gender identity and/or expression," Rago-Craft said.
A national spotlight was shined on gender-neutral bathrooms after the passage of North Carolina’s HB2 law, also known as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act. The law requires transgender people living in the state to use the restroom in accordance to their biological sex.
The law caused much national backlash, with the NBA canceling their 2017 All-Star game that was originally planned to be held in Charlotte.
The Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities offers programs meant to reach out to the University's transgender community. The University also offers “trans-inclusive health insurance."
Student-centered spaces are available for for transgender, gender non-binary and gender nonconforming students.
Transgender was only recently taken off the American Psychology Association's list of mental illnesses in 2012. The Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities offers free education programs to those who believe identifying as transgender is a mental illness.
At the end of each month, the center holds a SafeR Space LGBTQA and Ally Training program in which participants can learn about the experiences of people in the LBGTQA community, the proper terminology and how to end the biases displayed towards the community.
This program is open to everyone.
“Its nice to know that my school is open and accepting to all kinds of people and not falling into the insensitive traps on display in North Carolina,” said Nicholas Provenzano, a Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences junior. “I have plenty of friends in the LGBTQ community and they feel very comfortable on campus.”
Daniel MacLane is a School of Arts of Sciences junior majoring in political science. He is a contributing writer at The Daily Targum.