Gender-neutral, multi-stall restroom added on USC campus

first_imgWhen transgender and gender-nonconforming students held a First-Year Advocacy Board event at the LGBT Resource Center, they used the women’s restroom on the same floor as a gender neutral restroom for the evening. At that time, faculty at the center noticed hostility from older, cisgender female faculty toward the students using the restroom.Kelby Harrison, the LGBT Resource Center director, and Michael Gorse, the LGBT Resource Center supervisor, brought this to the attention of Title IX when they realized it was a compliance issue.“Title IX received reports that transgender and gender nonconforming students did not have an easily accessible all-gender bathroom near the LGBT resource center,” said Gretchen Means, the executive director and coordinator of Title IX in an email to the Daily Trojan. “The closest all-gender restrooms to the Student Union are in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center and in Bovard. Both required a 15-minute round-trip walk, and sometimes were not open. This created a barrier for students accessing the center’s resources and programming.”The administration first switched all of the single-stall restrooms to all-gender restrooms. However, there were still spots where restrooms were not accessible to transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals. This is because in most of the buildings already constructed on campus there are only multi-stall restrooms, and switching these facilities into gender neutral facilities is much more difficult, according to Harrison.This prompted the LGBT Resource Center to collaborate with the Title IX Office of Equity and Diversity to establish the first multi-stalled gender neutral restroom on campus in the Student Union modeled  after the United University Church’s gender-neutral restrooms.Since transitioning to a gender-neutral restroom, the administration feels that it has made a positive impact on the transgender and gender-nonconforming students who frequent the LGBT Resource Center and the center itself.“We’ve already had many positive reactions from gender nonconforming staff and students on its presence, that it helps them feel safer,” Harrison said. “A couple of different individuals have noted that it’s really helpful to them in their transition and that it’s been a powerful and positive experience.”Transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals usually have to go to great lengths to safely go to the restroom. Some people will refrain from using the restroom throughout the day until they get home, or avoid drinking water when they go to public spaces, to avoid possible harassment when using public restrooms, according to Mary Andres, a professor of clinical education at the Rossier School of EducationAndres focused on these issues in her career at USC. In the past, she assisted transgender and gender-nonconforming students in making arrangements to use public facilities as a counselor at the counseling center. While working with these students, she noticed how mentally damaging these restrictions can be for them.“It is tiresome and actually unhealthy for someone to feel like they don’t want to draw attention to themselves and not be able to just go to the bathroom when they want to go to the bathroom,” Andres said.Mya Worrell, a freshman majoring in gender studies, identifies as agender and found comfort in the expansion of gender neutral restrooms.Warrell said that in the women’s restroom they do not feel comfortable and in the men’s restroom, they do not feel safe.“I love seeing a gender-neutral bathroom because it means that I don’t have to not go to the bathroom or force myself to go to a bathroom that makes me feel uncomfortable,” Worrell said.In front of the gender-neutral restroom in the Student Union, there are fliers explaining the purpose of establishing the restroom for those who are unaware of the issue. Some look at the gender-neutral restroom as a foreign threat, but the LGBT Resource Center is making efforts to inform those people through the fliers, according to Gorse.Worrell hopes that this expansion will inform cisgender individuals of the binary prevalent in most buildings and the necessity for inclusion in public facilities.“I hope that, first of all, seeing gender-neutral bathrooms broadens their idea of the gender binary,” Worrell said. “I also hope that they realize that they can use gender-neutral bathrooms too, because gender-neutral bathrooms are for everyone.”Harrison believed this expansion will help critics understand the issue and take part in creating a more accepting community at USC.“I’ve seen the difference that inclusive spaces can make for people struggling to align their gender expression and gender identity,” Harrison said. “I think it’s healthy for all people to have a more complicated understanding of gender identity and expression, and restrooms like these help to expand that understanding and conversation.”last_img read more

Under the Radar at UFC 235: Pedro Munhoz

first_imgJoin DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearHe has looked terrific as of late and has the potential to cause further chaos in the bantamweight division by handing Garbrandt a third consecutive loss this weekend in Las Vegas.Don’t sleep on Pedro Munhoz; he’s a real player in the 135-pound ranks. Prior to every event, Under the Radar will cast the spotlight on an up-and-coming talent who shows the potential for growth in their division and isn’t getting enough attention as they head into battle.Name: Pedro Munhoz Record: 17-3 (1 NC) overall; 7-3 (1 NC) UFCDivision: BantamweightTeam: American Top TeamPedro Munhoz just hasn’t been able to put together the right wins at the right time in order to propel himself into the thick of the title chase in the bantamweight division, but that doesn’t mean the 32-year-old “Young Punisher” shouldn’t be viewed as a viable threat in the division.While Munhoz has earned some quality wins inside the Octagon, including first-round finishes of Rob Font and Bryan Caraway, it’s his trio of losses that really illustrate where he fits in the bantamweight hierarchy and why he is someone people should be paying closer attention to heading into UFC 235 this weekend in Las Vegas.Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearAfter racking up 10 consecutive victories to start his career, including winning and defending the RFA bantamweight title, Munhoz debuted in the Octagon on short notice and went the distance in a losing effort against Raphael Assuncao, who was fresh off his split-decision win over TJ Dillashaw and 5-0 in the division at the time.His two other losses both came by split decision — one to Jimmie Rivera a little over three years ago and most recently to John Dodson last March. Both fights were closely contested and no one would have batted an eye if the split fell in Munhoz’s favor in either instance.He’s one round on one scorecard away from entering this weekend’s matchup with former champ Cody Garbrandt on a seven-fight winning streak — and two rounds on two cards away from being unbeaten in his last 10 — and yet very few people seem to view the Brazilian finisher as a real threat in the 135-pound ranks.And that’s a mistake.While some will look at those three losses to top contenders and categorize Munhoz as a talented guy, who isn’t quite good enough to beat the best the division has to offer, I look at him as a tough matchup for just about anyone and someone whose skills and abilities are far greater than his results would indicate.It’s the case I make whenever James Vick fights and talks about how guys aren’t on his level and cites his nine wins — quality matters more than quantity, so while Vick and others have shinier records, give me a guy like Munhoz (or Paul Felder last week against Vick) who might have caught a couple of losses along the way, but has been in there with and proven himself against significantly greater competition.Which is why I think he’s being overlooked heading into this fight with Garbrandt on Saturday.In terms of style and demeanor, Munhoz is the exact opposite type of guy I would want to come back against if I’m the former champion because he’s never been finished, has no problem getting into a firefight if that’s what you’re looking for and has an arsenal of weapons he can finish you with if you get loose and make a mistake … which is precisely what Garbrandt has done in each of his last two fights.While he carries a reputation for being “a submission guy,” Munhoz has much better boxing and power in his hands than he’s often given credit for and his submission wins often come as a result of his landing big shots that put opponents down or turn them into panic wrestlers. If he gets you in that position, Munhoz has shown he’s adept at finishing, either by following up with strikes or clamping on his signature guillotine choke, which he can secure in a flash.The most interesting wrinkle in this fight — at least to me — is how the Brazilian will hold up if Garbrandt is able to land big shots on the feet. Thus far, Munhoz has proven to be ultra-durable, but “No Love” sits down on his punches and carries more power than just about anyone in the division, so if he lands clean, Munhoz’s chin will be put to the test.This is the fight I’m looking forward to the most on Saturday night because it’s such an intriguing clash of styles and Munhoz feels like such a criminally underrated talent heading into a winnable fight against a former champion.last_img read more