SBCC should provide more gender-neutral bathrooms

The Channels Opinion Pages | EDITORIAL

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SBCC should provide more gender-neutral bathrooms

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Going to the bathroom is a natural and easy task for cisgender students, but for transgender students it can feel like their worst nightmare.

People might whisper, people might stare— outsiders will never truly understand what it’s like to question which restroom to use. Trans people and their identification in terms of using the restrooms have been an ongoing controversy in our country as we have begun to accept the LGBT+ culture as a social norm.

The Channels Editorial Board believes that no student should face this discomfort. We support the student trustee’s proposal for more accessible multistall gender-neutral bathrooms in every building on campus. We also commend the LGBT+ Club and the Associated Student Government for hosting their rally March 16 on the bridge to spread awareness for the gender-neutral bathroom proposal.

Those who disagree may argue they feel uncomfortable using the same bathroom as the opposite sex. Male students probably don’t want to see dirty feminine products in the trash cans and female students could fear that gender-neutral restrooms may increase the chances of sexual predators finding them in a vulnerable moment on the toilet. The oppositions are justifiable.

Thankfully for people with this mindset, the proposal does not demand that all bathrooms on campus be converted. There will still be the option to use a male or female-only bathroom in the same building.

A comfortable bathroom option has never been the case for transgender or nonbinary identifiers. We as a college should welcome these individuals with open arms and provide them more accessible bathrooms on campus; the current single-stall bathrooms in the humanities building are simply not enough.

Hypothetically speaking, if a transgender student needed to use the restroom on West Campus but felt uncomfortable using a male-only or female-only bathroom, it is borderline inhumane that they are forced to “hold it” until they cross the bridge and rush to the other side of the college. It is only fair that things change and this board policy is passed.

City College’s new vision statement reads: “Santa Barbara City College strives to build a socially conscious community where knowledge and respect empower individuals to transform our world.”

To build a socially conscious community, it is important to acknowledge the fact that each individual in society is made differently. Therefore, it is vital to accommodate the needs of everyone from every gender identity. That way they feel respected, and this feeling of respect and comfort could continue to empower them to transform the world just as the college envisions.

With the support of campus clubs, The Channels, the student government, and the dozens of students who signed the petition supporting gender-neutral bathrooms at the on-campus rally, the college is well on its way to following the new vision statement.

We encourage the Board of Trustees to vote “yes” on this new policy. Voting will take place at its April 13 meeting.

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