On Tuesday morning, union representative Aviva Milner-Brage and Alex Kulick, Graduate Assistant for the Resource Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity, met with UCSB administration to discuss the university’s progress in making all-gender inclusive restrooms more accessible. Increasing safety for LGBTQIA students and members of our campus community is a shared goal of both the union and the UC.
In this meeting, university representatives expressed that it is the goal of the university to eventually provide at least one all-gender restroom in every building on campus. Currently, our campus is going through the process of converting existing single stall restrooms to all-gender restrooms. This conversion process includes, for the most part, signage and installing a lock on the outer door as well as hosting a link to an up-to-date map of all-gender restroom locations.
Here is the map the union currently has access to. Please note – it is not up-to-date. The red starts represent all-gender bathrooms and the green dots represent single stall locking men/women restrooms.
All-gender bathrooms are marked with this sign:
Under our contract, Academic Student Workers (ASEs) are guaranteed reasonable access to all-gender restrooms if needed. If you need these facilities, please contact us as soon as possible once know your TA/work assignment & location so we can convey your request to the university. Requests can be made through the All-Gender Bathroom Form. However, the university told us that while these requests can be made to Labor Relations, there is currently no process or obligation for them to act on these requests by converting a bathroom.
The specific definition for “reasonable access” in the contract is: “The University agrees to promptly engage in a discussion with the ASE, or the Union, and to provide reasonable access to an existing all-gender restroom within a reasonable distance to the ASE’s work location. Reasonable access may include, but is not limited to, section/class reassignments and/or schedule modifications, re- designating an existing restroom as all-gender, or placing the ASE in an alternate appointment.”
The contract also specifies that: “The University shall not be obligated to expend funds beyond minimal and incidental costs to provide reasonable access to all-gender restrooms.”
All in all, we were disappointed that more progress has not been made. However, we were shown a more current map of buildings with easily convertible bathrooms that the university is working from, which looked promising.