University of Iowa marks 147 gender-inclusive restrooms - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

University of Iowa marks 147 gender-inclusive restrooms

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Gender-inclusive restrooms have been grabbing headlines nationwide and now in Iowa.

The University of Iowa will mark 147 of the bathrooms on campus as gender-inclusive.

"It's a national conversation but at the university level, the University of Iowa is going to be taking a lead," says Sean Finn, President of UI Trans Alliance.

More than 40 volunteers worked throughout the spring reviewing hundreds of bathrooms on campus, taking note of things like the number of stalls and the signs outside.

The group found 147 existing restrooms have just one stall inside.

"They just don't have consistent signage that says this is a gender neutral restroom, all of them are single use restrooms and we are just going to be saying this is a gender neutral restroom you can use it," Finn told us.

The signs read: "Anyone can use this restroom, regardless of gender identity or expression."

The restrooms could be a draw for the future transgender students wanting to come to the University of Iowa.

"When I considered where I was going to go to college that's something I definitely considered how trans friendly is the University of Iowa and so I think that makes a big difference when students are considering where to go to college," Finn says.

"These single user gender-inclusive restrooms really make our campus and help our campus be inclusive and safe and supportive to all of our community as well as those who identify as trans or non binary," says Teri Schnelle, Coordinator of Student Life Assessment and Initiatives.

Schnelle says this couldn't have been done so quickly  if it weren't for the more than 40 volunteers who worked to review all of the bathrooms on campus, in 102 different buildings.

Now, around half of the campus buildings will have a marked gender-inclusive restroom.

The University also created printable maps which show where each of the restrooms are located on campus.

Total, there are more than 1,000 restrooms on the University of Iowa campus.

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