Bathroom and Locker Room Usage

POLICY TITLE: Bathroom and Locker Room Usage

POLICY NUMBER: 11.0.2

EFFECTIVE: August 31, 2016


A. BACKGROUND:

Following the Department of Education’s Dear Colleague letter of May 13, 2016, there is a need to identify and codify the college’s practices regarding bathroom and locker room usage.

B. POLICY STATEMENT:

All students, staff members, faculty members and guests should use the bathroom or locker room that corresponds to their gender identity or expression. Individuals are prohibited from using a public bathroom or locker room that does not correspond to their gender identity or expression.

In regards to privacy, all persons using a public bathroom or locker room are to be treated with dignity and respect. Anyone wishing more privacy may use any of the single stall bathrooms which are marked on the campus maps or with the designated symbol. Anyone wishing more privacy in a locker room should contact a staff member in Athletics for access to a private changing area.

C. DEFINITIONS:

(Provided by the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Alliance and recommended by the Rhode Island Department of Education)

The terms below are designed to provide a basic understanding of words, phrases and ideas related to gender. It’s important to note that all language is constantly evolving; new terms are introduced, while others fade from use or change their meaning over time.

Gender:A set of cultural identities, expressions and roles – codified as feminine or masculine – that are assigned to people based upon the interpretation of their bodies, and more specifically, their sexual and reproductive anatomy. Since gender is a social construction, it is possible to reject or modify the gender one is assigned at birth, and to develop, live and express a gender that feels truer and just to oneself.

Gender identity:A personal conception of oneself as male, female, both, neither and/or another gender. Gender identity can be the same as or different from the gender a person is assigned at birth. Gender identity is a matter of self-identification; no one can tell anyone else how to identify or what terms to use. Gender identity is different from sexual orientation, and everyone has both a gender identity and a sexual orientation.

Transgender:An umbrella term describing people whose gender identity does not match the gender they were assigned at birth.

Gender binary:A socially constructed system of viewing gender as consisting solely of two categories, “male” and “female,” in which no other possibilities for gender are believed to exist. The gender binary is a restrictive and inaccurate way to view gender because it does not take into account the diversity of gender identities and gender expressions among all people. The gender binary is oppressive to anyone that does not conform to dominant societal gender norms.

Gender expression:The multiple ways (e.g., behaviors, dress) in which a person may choose to communicate gender to oneself and/or to others.

D. POLICY APPLIES TO:

All students, employees and visitors to the college.

E. RELATED POLICIES:

Inclusion of Transgender Persons Policy.

F. RESPONSIBLE DEPARTMENT:

The Office of Institutional Equity is responsible for implementing and maintaining this policy.

APPROVED: Dr. Meghan Hughes, President Date: July 20, 2016

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Last Updated: 10/11/16