This story is jointly published by nonprofits Amplify Utah and The Salt Lake Tribune, in collaboration with Salt Lake Community College, to elevate diverse perspectives in local media through student journalism.
Students who have walked through the Academic and Administration Building at Salt Lake Community College’s Taylorsville Redwood Campus may have noticed new signs outside certain restrooms.
The signage is bright green and features three circles — which read “body,” “mind” and “spirit” — surrounding an image of a restroom stick figure.
Those signs are part of a pilot program from SLCC’s Student Association, or SLCCSA, to make single-occupancy restrooms at the college more gender inclusive. The group initiated the pilot program toward the end of this year’s summer semester – and now, it is making plans for what comes next.
“SLCCSA’s goal is [for students to feel] comfort in restrooms that align with their gender expression or identity,” said Timothy Davis, director of the Thayne Center for Student Life, Leadership and Community Engagement.
Initial rollout of the green signage stalled because some of the signs were falling off the walls to which they were attached. Also, according to SLCCSA President Lindsay Simons, a miscommunication led Student Center Operations to take down signage that they mistook for unauthorized postings.
Despite the setbacks, Davis said the response from students has been positive. “Students shared their appreciation for this step forward,” he said, adding that SLCCSA is ready to proceed with future plans for restroom signage.
“We have some exciting new prototypes developed,” Davis said. “In the coming weeks, SLCCSA will relaunch with a jointly approved sticker in some select locations, and will remove any remaining signage from the pilot.”
After the redesigned signs are in place, Davis said, SLCCSA will seek additional feedback from students before expanding the program.
Current plans, however, go beyond signage. SLCCSA’s executive council voted unanimously to implement inclusive restroom design, a long-campaigned request from the college’s Queer Student Association and the Gender and Sexuality Student Resource Center.
According to Davis, inclusive restroom design could entail multi-stall restrooms not segregated by gender, but he said that no announcements are ready to be made yet.
To learn more about issues and initiatives related to the LGBTQ+ community at SLCC, visit the GSSRC via its webpage, slcc.edu/gssrc, or their office at the South City Campus, or follow them on Instagram at @slccgssrc.
Jonny Tollestrup wrote this story as a journalism student at Salt Lake Community College. It is published as part of a new collaborative including nonprofits Amplify Utah and The Salt Lake Tribune.