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Gender Inclusive Bathrooms Make Their Way to the Ballot

By Monique Becker
On February 12, 2017

UNC Student Senate met at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 8 in the council room on the second floor of the University Center.

While many budgetary items were presented to student senate, a ballot consideration of a Gender Inclusive Bathroom was also presented.

Ashlee Edwards and Caitlin Ortis, UNC students, presented this ballot proposal to student senate; they both emphasized their desire for every member on UNC’s campus to feel safe and welcome.

Currently there are no gender inclusive bathrooms in any academic building on campus. The only buildings that do have these restrooms are in Michener Library and the University Center.

While one of the main concerns with accessibility to a gender inclusive bathroom is for everyone on campus to feel safe and welcome these bathrooms would also provide those in these buildings with infants a changing table, those who require assistance in restrooms the ability to have that assistance, etc.

“Let our students fight for gender inclusivity,” Ortis said.

A decision was not made on whether or not this proposal will be included on the ballot this spring. Senate members moved for the proposal to be tabled and to be discussed at a later time when more information, has been collected. When the ballot proposal is rewritten with new information senate members will present the revised version to the authors for approval.

If approved, the ballot proposal will then be voted on by senate members. If senate votes in favor of the proposal it will appear on the ballot this spring for students to vote on.

Should the proposal be on the ballot and passed by students, approved bathrooms in academic buildings will have new signage, as well as changing stations.

Among the senate reports Brandon Miller, student body president, addressed the work he has done on addressing the parking issue on the UNC campus.

Miller said that with the construction of the Campus Commons there is a loss of approximately 212 regular parking spaces, two handicap spaces and three service parking spaces.


Other items discussed at Wednesday's student senate meeting are:

  • $3,000 for funding the Latino Youth Leadership Conference that will take place April 13 in the University Center ballrooms and suites was approved

  • $2,600 dollars in funding for the Lunar Festival was approved

  • Funding for the Hawaiian club's annual Luau was tabled until the club can gather more information, student senate will work with club on budgetary discretions. $3,000 was frozen for this organization until necessary information has been gathered and decision made by student senate.


Funding for above items will come from the organization funding board, a student senate committee that helps the student trustee and finance committee in funding matters of student organizations.

According to Michael Kelly, student trustee, OFB does not have any more funds available for student organizations this semester.

“We are committed to continuing helping fund student organizations in the future,” Kelly said.

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