Gender Bathrooms

OSU has at least 207 gender-inclusive restrooms in at least 75  buildings, according to Gabriel Merrell, the director of access and affirmative action with Equal Opportunity and Access.

The Memorial Union and Student Experience Center will be including free feminine hygiene products and installing hygiene bins in all restrooms, regardless of gender. The installation will take place this winter term.

Both the MU and SEC, along with all other student-fee funded buildings were chosen by the Associated Students of Oregon State University to apply the initiative to their restrooms. According to the ASOSU Queer Affairs Coordinator, Julian Chu, this decision was made to fulfill the needs of people that have a menstruation without discriminating by gender and those who cannot afford personal hygiene products.

“With the increasing numbers of homelessness and poverty in Corvallis, this will be able to alleviate student’s budgets to other things such as food/groceries, books, gas, rent, etc.,” said Chu.

According to Chu, this initiative will help students who are struggling financially and aims to help these students attain other necessities without worrying about personal hygiene products.

“We are adding these resources to all bathrooms, as not all students who menstruate are female-identified, some may identify as LGBTQIA+, male, other, etc. Those students may not be comfortable entering a specific bathroom if we provided these resources only in a specific bathroom, and would exclude them from receiving these resources,” Chu said via email. 

The initiative was proposed by ASOSU. Initially, the leader of the initiative was the Womxn’s Affairs Coordinator at ASOSU, Eve Selbie. However, due to other priorities, Selbie was unable to continue leading the initiative. The initiative is now being lead by Chu.

“As someone who menstruates, having access to free products for a normal bodily function will alleviate stress in situations where I may not have a certain product on me and am in need,” Kylie Boenisch, vice president of ASOSU said via email. “Products for other normal bodily functions are free in our everyday life, such as toilet paper, tissues, etc. Access to products is not a privilege, it’s a right.”

In an email, Deb Mott, Director of the Memorial Union, said she is happy to see how the ASOSU administration was forward-thinking in requesting the hygienic resources that are going to be available in all bathrooms regardless of gender.

“The MU and SEC were the first ones to start this and we hope for the other buildings as well to find a way to provide these services for free as some locations have limited budgets to do so,” said Chu.The installation of hygiene bins and dispensers for the MU and SEC will cost about $2,000. This cost will also cover the replacement of the old dispensers, which needed to be replaced due to their poor condition. The new dispensers will not require a coin since they will be free for all OSU community members.

Last term, the directors of each student fee-funded building such as the MU, SEC, Human Services Resource Center, Family Resource Center and the Dixon Recreation Center agreed to meet with Student Health Services to discuss how to provide the resources for the initiative. 

“These resources are a part of our work that reflects our values of service, inclusion and accountability to the OSU community,” Mott said via email. ”As the campus student union, the MU endeavors to support the differing necessities of life all students require.”

According to Chu, the initiative will try to have a similar system like the one the cultural resource centers used to have in 2018-2019 when they partnered with the SHS, where the dispensers would be stocked up every one to two weeks with tampons and pads. 

“Providing these services to all genders is absolutely necessary in serving the needs of the student body and also to shape an inclusive future students want to see, and that the world needs,” Rachel Josephson, ASOSU president, said via email. Josephson said she is enthusiastic about these changes and how quickly these changes were made. People from many areas have come together to accomplish this initiative, which Josephson said she finds exciting.

“What we hope to achieve in regards to applying it to all buildings and having the end goal be where OSU pays for these products otherwise students will still be paying for these menstrual products,” Chu said. 

countability to the OSU community,” Mott said via email. ”As the campus student union, the MU endeavors to support the differing necessities of life all students require.”

According to Chu, the initiative will try to have a similar system like the one the cultural resource centers used to have in 2018-2019 when they partnered with the SHS, where the dispensers would be stocked up every one to two weeks with tampons and pads. 

“Providing these services to all genders is absolutely necessary in serving the needs of the student body and also to shape an inclusive future students want to see, and that the world needs,” Rachel Josephson, ASOSU president, said via email.Josephson said she is enthusiastic about these changes and how quickly these changes were made. People from many areas have come together to accomplish this initiative, which Josephson said she finds exciting.

“What we hope to achieve in regards to applying it to all buildings and having the end goal be where OSU pays for these products otherwise students will still be paying for these menstrual products,” Chu said.

(1) comment

Gundisalvus of Gresham

The last four paragraphs were repeated.

Welcome to the discussion.

Commenting Policy Orange Media Network acknowledges every individual’s right to free speech as protected by the First Amendment, and celebrates the open and honest exchange of ideas. While the goal of the comment section is to further community conversation and engagement on the various topics covered by Orange Media Network, we strive to foster a civil and respectful discourse for all participants. All user comments are manually reviewed by staff members before they appear live on the website. Our full policy is available here: http://www.orangemedianetwork.com/site/social_media_commenting_policy.html