AC should meet basic needs

Person looking at bathrooms


The need for gender-neutral restrooms has affected the lives of many minority groups for decades, but is now coming into the mainstream. 

Though controversial and uncomfortable for some, gender-neutral restrooms and those they affect are topics worth discussing. These restrooms need to be located in every building on every campus at Amarillo College.

When discussing the topic of gender-neutral restrooms, a variety of concerns can come to mind, including; cost, importance and privacy, but it is possible for AC to provide the needed facilities. 

Of course, cost could be an obstacle, but, according to Carmen Campbell of “Entity Magazine,” larger institutions such as schools “may be able to accomplish the feat for as little as $500.” Converting “existing single-occupancy restrooms” is the cheapest way for schools to establish a fair and comfortable restroom environment for all students, Campbell said. 

She even estimated that to convert an impressive 150 restrooms, one school would only need $25,000, averaging only $167 per restroom.

Who would gender-neutral restrooms benefit? Well, the obvious answer would be the students with nonconforming gender identities. It has been reported that students with different identities do not feel like they belong, with 59 percent say they avoid using the bathroom, 31 percent saying they avoid eating or drinking and, shockingly, 8 percent reporting having had a kidney or urinary tract infection from avoiding restrooms.

Also, gender-neutral restrooms can meet needs that go beyond gender identity. They can benefit children and those with autism or other forms of special-needs, particularly when parents need to accompany opposite gender special needs children into a facility. 

Conversion of, or even creating new, restrooms is not a difficult or costly endeavor as the changes needed to do so are small. Also, the college’s bond proposal is no secret, and it does not seem unreasonable to set aside the small portion of the money to create gender-neutral restrooms in every building on every campus. 

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