By Jessica Sanders
Walking through the halls of Kirby, you may or may not have noticed some changes to the former men’s restroom on the main floor. While we were all relaxing over Spring Break, Illinois College was busy making changes to the restroom. It is now another additional all gender restroom that the college has added to the campus. It joins the already completed ones in Baxter, Parker, and Caine. If you have ventured to this updated restroom, you may have noticed that there is not yet a stall door or toilet paper. Please be aware, as the signs state, these will both be coming soon; the bathroom had not been completed over Spring Break.
Wanting to learn more about the process of bringing all gender restrooms to IC, I chatted with a couple of members of the Student Senate. Both Austin and Hailey Phillips informed me that the push for all gender restrooms came from the campus, with Student Senate pushing for the newest restroom in Kirby. Flyers were placed all around campus at the beginning of the school year causing the campus to discuss this. Many shared their opinions, thoughts, and concerns to Student Senate, even holding a forum. They also agreed that the hope of providing all gender restrooms is continuing IC’s strive for diversity and inclusion. With a growing community of students and professor’s with many different identities, it is important to make sure everyone is comfortable on their campus.
The Phillips also mentioned how they believe this is the first step towards something bigger. Though unsure of what the next big push will be, there are hopes to have more all gender restrooms with a goal of at least one in each building. Due to concerns expressed from students who were not comfortable with all gender restrooms, it is unlikely at this point that an all gender restroom will be able to be in all the buildings on campus. The next all gender restroom will, more likely than not, be the women’s restroom on the main level, so that both restrooms on this level will be all gender.
There has also been some talk of having gender neutral housing, but the campus is still very far from doing so. There are many things to consider and discuss with inducting gender neutral housing. Hailey Phillips believes that the campus community will continue to be vocal about this matter and voice their opinions.
Are you still left with unanswered questions? Contact Student Senate Senators Austin Phillips and James Hills, who are the leaders in this movement. Also, I encourage you to take a look at Student Senate’s website, https://icsenate.com/, which includes resolutions, minutes, committees, and more in order for you to stay up to date on the latest happenings with Senate.
Jessica Sanders, from Woodstock, Illinois, is a junior majoring in English with a concentration in Secondary Education. Jessica is a member of the IC Women’s Chorale and is the Editor in Chief of The Rambler, along with being a member of the literary society Chi Beta.