- American University Community
- Bronté Burleigh-Jones, Ph.D., CFO, Vice President, and Treasurer
- All-Gender Restrooms Working Group Update
We would like to update the community on the progress of our All-Gender Restrooms Working Group. On August 15, 2022 an email communication was issued to inform the community about the action plan to update gender-inclusive restroom facilities.
The message provided details on a review of the university’s restroom inventory that was conducted during summer 2022. As a result of this review, the decision was made to undertake a renovation project during the 2022-23 academic year by redesignating 14 multi-stall gender inclusive restrooms and adding 10 new single-stall, all-gender, ADA-accessible restrooms to our inventory of 125 existing all-gender single stall restrooms that currently exist across campus.
To help facilitate these changes, members of my project management and planning team and I met with representatives from the Center for Diversity and Inclusion in early August 2022 to discuss the planned course of action, next steps, and the formation of a working group. Outreach then began immediately to identify staff, students, and faculty representatives for the working group, and additional community members reached out and asked to join the group. Following a series of smaller initial group meetings, the working group formally hosted its first official meeting on September 26, 2022 and has been meeting on an ongoing basis since then. In addition, a secondary working subgroup for signage was formed to focus on requirements for temporary signs and uniform design and descriptive language for permanent signs. It is important to note that the membership of the working group has expanded since inception to include additional stakeholders as our discussions have evolved.
Both immediate and longer-term concerns have been voiced by the AU community (students, staff, faculty, and alums, as well as concerned parents) about this effort. These concerns, some of which were raised in a Townhall Meeting on November 3, align with the perspectives and ongoing work of many working group members. The working group is continuing to work collaboratively, to address these concerns and update our path moving forward.
To date, the working group has engaged on a variety of important topics including:
- Critically revisiting the justification for the recent and proposed changes.
- Related communication to the AU community, including updates to the online campus map.
- Potential adjustments to the action plan underway.
- Opportunities for additional working group voices and membership.
- Best practice for the provision of multi-stall gender-inclusive facilities.
- DC and International Plumbing Code requirements for multi-stall gender-inclusive facilities.
- The values and concerns that should inform how these facilities are designed and function.
On November 11, Perry Zurn, a trans professor at AU whose current work focuses on trans inclusion in higher education, assumed a co-facilitator role of the working group. In addition, Lindsay Northup-Moore, senior director of Disability Support in ASAC, and Marc Medwin, professor in performing arts and co-lead of the Disability+ Faculty Staff Affinity Group, have joined the working group. Working group members understand that continued representation of and accountability to the LGBTQ and disability communities on campus is paramount in our work going forward.
Additional meetings have been scheduled for the working group and signage subgroup and we expect to provide another update to the community in the new year. Any questions about this project can be sent to email@example.com. Thank you for your support of AU’s values and our work to enhance our campus experience.
Working Group Members:
Robin Adams, Director, Center for Diversity and Inclusion
- Qwendolyn Brown, Associate General Counsel
- Bronté Burleigh-Jones, CFO, Vice President & Treasurer (Co-Facilitator)
- Elana Caparco, Student, AU Pride Vice President
- Isha Devarasetty, Student, AU Pride Diversity and Accessibility Coordinator
- Cameron Eller, Student, AU Pride Trans and Nonbinary Coordinator
- Khouri Lassiter, Assistant Director, Education & Support Programs for LGBTQIA+
- Nabina Liebow, Director, CAS LEAD Program; LGBTQ+ Faculty/Staff Affinity Group Co-Lead
- Jonathan McCann, Assistant Vice President, Planning and Project Management
- Marc Medwin, Assistant Professor, Department of Performing Arts; Disability+ Faculty & Staff Affinity Group (D+ FSA) Co-Lead
- Lindsay Northup-Moore, Senior Director, Disability Support
- Edna Pate-Cloutier, Director, Planning and Project Development
- Andie Rowe, Director, Employee Wellness & Work-Life
- Cheyenne Smith, Student, AU Pride Director
- Amanda Taylor, Assistant Vice President, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
- Shannon Telenko, DEI Consultant, Talent Strategies
- Perry Zurn, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Director of Undergraduate Studies in Philosophy (Co-Facilitator)