What’s Going On at GSU?

Courtney Heiskell, Staff Reporter

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Governors State University has been working tirelessly to make Governors State a better community and education establishment for their students. Greek life, a new food court renovation, and new technology in the library, are just a few things Governors State has up their sleeve. However, one particular event that will be discussed, is the addition of the gender inclusion bathroom. Yes, you heard me right. Governors State University is working on adding a couple of gender inclusive bathrooms.
For those who aren’t familiar with the term gender inclusive (also known as gender neutral), it is the concept where social institutions, languages, and policies should stray away from acknowledging people by their gender or sex to avoid discrimination. Gender inclusivity is the acknowledgement of people who don’t identify themselves with the binary gender or cisgender roles. Having gender inclusive bathrooms, in my opinion, is a way to show that we, as a society, are not ethnocentric when it comes to the variations of how people identify oneself.
I had the opportunity to catch up with Jas Garner, the Secretary of the Student Senate here at GSU. We have a widespread of students who are coming from the military at various ages, international students, undergraduate and graduate students, and a plethora of members from the LGBTQIA community. Having said that, it was necessary to brainstorm ideas on a gender inclusive bathroom for those who don’t identify themselves with the binary gender. As Jas stated, “GSU actually already has a gender inclusive bathroom in the C wing. It has one stall and the door has multiple locks to give a person their privacy and make them feel comfortable”. Jas believes regardless of your gender or sexuality, you should be able to feel comfortable to go to a bathroom that is not labeled and does not make you uncomfortable or unsafe.
How this idea to add another gender inclusive bathroom came to be is very simple. “This was a complete in collaboration idea”, Jas started. “We go to every gender and sexuality club, psych club, and clubs who deal with the nature of the human body, and we ask them what can we do, what do they need, how we can become apart of this, and how can we support you guys to the fullest extent”. The gender and sexuality advisor, along with the members of their E-board, collaborated on the idea of a gender inclusive bathroom being a way the Student Senate can show their support and be of tremendous help. The Student Senate immediately got on board and started putting things into motion. In summary, from the words of Jas Garner, “It’s more or less the gender and sexuality club’s administration and their group pushing this change to happen, but the Student Senate is fully on board and in full support of this addition”.
As the Vice President of the GSU Dance Company, when my President can’t make it to the President’s meeting, I have to go by default. When I went to the last meeting to hear about the number of things GSU had instored, I couldn’t help but wonder why I, as a student, didn’t get a chance to vote on something like a gender inclusive bathroom. Although I am personally for the idea, I would have liked to have been included. Jas Garner explained to me that I may not be asked to vote because, decisions of that stature are strictly for the members of Student Senate. An example she gave was the reason why everyone cannot vote in Congress as a Congressman. Everyone cannot vote because they were not elected to make legislative decisions. The members of Student Senate, as Jas wonderfully explain, were thoroughly elected because of their open minds and strong interests in expanding GSU for the betterment of the students. However, we can make a public comment that can help influence the decisions made by the Student Senate.
Now, I know many are wondering where exactly this gender inclusive bathroom will be at and what it will look like. The bathroom will be the same as previously stated about the secured, one stall bathroom in the C-Wing, but it will be in a different location with an all gender sign plastered on the door. The exact whereabouts haven’t quite been decided, but there will be an addition or two to make students of the LGBTQIA community feel comfortable and feel accepted into their community. That’s what life is all about, right? Feeling accepted, learning about new cultures, and adapting to change.
In summary, Governors State University has been working tirelessly to make Governors State a better community and education establishment for their students. Greek life, a new food court renovation, and new technology in the library, are just a few things Governors State has up their sleeve. One particular event that was discussed today, is the addition of another gender inclusion bathroom. With knowledge about the way Student Senate goes out of their way to make GSU a better community, if there is a change you would like to see that will benefit an array of students, go talk to the Student Senate. As previously stated, the members of the Student Senate were thoroughly elected because of their open minds and strong interests in expanding GSU for the betterment of the students. The Student Senate is made up of amazing people, like Jas Garner, who love to hear your ideas and are efficient in making change happen. The possibilities of change are endless when we speak on the things that are important to us. Thank you for your time!
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What’s Going On at GSU?