Photo of bathroom signs in Walter F. Dexter building (34). Credit: Chloe Kern / Mustang News

The Cal Poly Office of Diversity and Inclusion plans to change 15 multi-stall restrooms on campus to identify as all-gender restrooms. 

The decision comes after a public listening session was held in January 2023 following student activism that occurred during the 2022-23 school year, stemming from a six-month-long reoccurrence of bathroom signage vandalization in the Walter F. Dexter Building (34). 

“We received a bias incident report sharing that the gender non-conforming and trans students do not have safe and affirming bathrooms,” Dean of Students Joy Pedersen said. “Restroom signs on the first-floor bathrooms in Dexter had been removed, and when replaced, the new signs were also removed.” 

Following the public listening session to hear out concerns, the participants agreed upon moving forward with a plan to increase accessibility to all-gender restrooms on campus. 

To make sure that the plan for more all-gender restrooms remained a priority and to assist in guiding facilities in making the adjustments needed a group of students, staff and faculty have formed the inclusive restrooms committee

“We wanted to move this initiative forward with different perspectives and experiences,” Pedersen said.

The committee is co-chaired by Pedersen and Associate Director of Capital Projects Michelle Chariton. 

After regular meetings that took place from March to June 2023, the committee found 15 additional multi-stall restrooms that could be changed to all-gender identifying. 

Single-stall all-gender restrooms were added onto campus in 2017 after Bill AB1732 was passed. 

In September 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 1194 Public Restrooms: Building Standards (SB 1194 – Allen) into law which allows for multi-stall all-gender bathrooms in cities that choose to pass this ordinance. 

Transgender, nonbinary, gender non-conforming and/or people with disabilities are encouraged to take an anonymous survey to share feedback on the program to the committee.

The committee does not plan to stop here.

“All new construction on campus includes all-gender restrooms,” Pedersen said.“And the committee will reconvene in fall 2023 to determine the next steps.”