At this time last year, the talk of the country was the University of Maryland – Baltimore County (UMBC). For the first time in the history of the NCAA basketball tournament, a 16-seed (UMBC) defeated a 1-seed (Virginia). The world loved this Cinderella story and then quickly got over it. This year, though the basketball team didn’t have a good enough year to make the big tournament, the school is still a topic of discussion due to recent signage plans.
A well-placed sign can expose local consumers to a brand between 50 and 60 times per month. A quality sign is can also equal the same amount of exposure to 24 full-page newspaper ads each year. Additionally, by placing a single sign on a university bathroom door, a school can become the topic of a national conversation.
According to The Baltimore Sun, UMBC announced plans to add all-gender restrooms on its campus and is seeking input from students and staff.
UMBC wants to ensure that everyone has access to safe restroom facilities, and are developing guidelines and implementation plans for the addition of multiple all-gender restrooms across the campus. The students and staff have been encouraged to voice their input, including members of UMBC’s LGBTQ community.
University president Freeman Hrabowski stated that the student and staff input will allow university officials to “move forward with appropriate rapidity, understanding that we will learn as we go and make adjustments as needed, to ensure that these changes meet the needs of our campus community.”
At the moment, there are 57 single-user all-gender restrooms across the campus, and the next step in the process is to designee a few multi-user all-gender restrooms in buildings that don’t currently have any all-gender bathrooms.
“The traditional design of our buildings and restrooms create compromises for transgender people or people who do not identify in a binary way,” added Keith Bowman, one of the co-leaders of UMBC’s steering committee on the new project and dean of the College of Engineering and Information Technology. “[But traditional restrooms also affect] people who do not fit traditional norms of masculinity or femininity, or people who have medical conditions.”
Currently, there are over 150 college campuses across the U.S. that are using all-gender restrooms.
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