IMAGE:  February 2004
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Bird watching

When transgendered, gay, lesbian, and feminist students asked the University to designate more gender-neutral bathrooms in the Regenstein Library and in Cobb Hall—holding a November panel on the issue—local media were Johnny-on-the-spot. Besides its news article noting some students’ reluctance to use public bathrooms because of safety concerns or because it requires them to choose a gender, the Chicago Sun-Times ran an editorial asking, “Will we see the day when lavatory doors are marked by the letters M, W, G, L, TG and TV?”

Chicago’s CBS affiliate, Chicago Public Radio, and even Rush Limbaugh picked up the bathroom story. The Sun-Times described the Coalition for a Queer Safe Campus as “supporting equality,” Limbaugh commented on his November 26 radio show—a week after returning from drug rehab—but “look what happens to institutions in order to give every little group what they consider to be equal treatment.”

The University, which already has nine gender-neutral bathrooms on campus, is responding to the request. The Regenstein, currently undergoing restroom renovations, will add two family/gender-neutral single stalls on the A-level, says Bill Michel, AB’92, associate dean of the College, and Cobb will change signs on its single-stall 5th-floor bathrooms to be gender neutral.








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