George Washington University Law School Creates Unisex Restrooms

Originally posted 2018-11-19 11:20:09

untitled_4By: Marvin Hooker | Editor: Kristen Daly |

Restrooms that are characterized as non-gender are becoming more popular.  Anna Stolley Persky documents this societal change in an ABA Journal article.  According to Persky, George Washington University facilitated these changes by creating four unisex restrooms in its law school.  Initially, the school labeled a pre-existing male-only restroom with three urinals and a stall as “all gender.”  This bathroom is a multiple-use, multi-occupant coed restroom.  John F. Banzhaf III, a law professor at the school, describes this change as a cost-effective way to address the concerns of transgender students torn between using the facilities for either men or women.  

The revamp was in response to a statement requesting that a unisex or all-gender bathroom be placed on the first floor where many of the students congregate.  According to the law school, the newest all-gender restroom is intended to serve as a single-, not multi-, use facility.  Well, what makes GW’s restrooms so different from other schools who have taken on this challenge?  Mr. Banzhaf III noted, “Lots of colleges have unisex restrooms that are single seater or single user.  But GW’s restroom goes much further. If a woman walks in, uses the stall and then goes to wash her hands, she could be standing almost thigh-to-thigh with a guy using a urinal, with no modesty wall.”

Amanda Siskind, a NCCJ contributor wrote that while many are concerned with comfort and safety, more than 150 colleges and universities have gender neutral bathrooms.  These include gendered and gender-neutral multi-stall restrooms.  This is the outcome of many student-led movements across the country intended on making bathrooms more inclusive and available for transgendered, or gender non-conforming students.

What are your thoughts on this subject, and do you think that there will be any proposed risks in the future?  Would you feel more comfortable with a multi- or single-person all-gender or unisex restroom?


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