If there’s one thing that everyone attending, working at, or visiting Coker has in common, it’s that we all need a bathroom from time to time.
Public restrooms have never been the gold standard for serving this need—but they are necessary, and in some circumstances they are nearly impossible to avoid. When the only available bathroom areas are designated specifically for male or female users, this most basic of human experiences can become a challenging, humiliating, and even unsafe obstacle for certain members of our campus community.
For example, it can be confusing for people who identify as trans* or non-binary to know which of the two bathroom options would be best for them. Even worse, using a gendered restroom may even be a risk to their safety. In fact, research shows that more than one in 10 transgender people report that they have been “harassed, attacked, or sexually assaulted in a bathroom in the last year” (2015 U.S. Transgender Survey)
Caregivers or helpers for people with disabilities may also need to assist someone of a different gender, and will need to enter the restroom with them to do so. Parents may need to accompany their young child to the restroom—and sometimes a trusted same-gender adult is not available to help.
For all of these reasons, providing access to all-gender restrooms across campus is important. It is clearly stated in Coker’s mission that “we affirm as the highest ethical principle the indestructible dignity of every human being. Furthermore, we believe that it is only by entering into community that a person can reach full human potential.” By designating certain campus restrooms for all genders, we are upholding these values of our community and ensuring that Coker continues to serve as an equitable, inclusive place for everyone.
- Do I have to use an all-gender bathroom?
No, you don’t have to use an all-gender bathroom if you don’t want to. Every building with a designated all-gender bathroom also has gender-specific or single-stall restrooms available. Feel free to use the facility where you will be most comfortable.
- Who is allowed to use an all-gender bathroom?
Everyone! An all-gender bathroom is just that: a bathroom for people of any and all gender expressions.
- What should I do if I feel unsafe using a restroom?
If the idea of using an all-gender restroom makes you uncomfortable, please know that you are free to use the gender-specific restrooms or single-stall bathrooms available in every campus building. If you feel unsafe, observe threatening or suspicious behavior, or notice a safety hazard of any kind in any area on campus, please contact Campus Safety immediately at 843-383-8140.
- How can I tell which bathrooms are for all genders and which are gender-specific?
Signs will be prominently displayed at every restroom location on campus, specifying the facility as a men’s bathroom, women’s bathroom, or all-gender bathroom. Symbols on related signage will specify the available accommodations (toilet, urinal, changing station, etc.)
All-Gender Restroom Locations
- Timberlake Lawton Gym – First Floor (Single Restroom)
- DeLoach Center – First Floor (Family Restroom)
- Center for Health & Wellness (Single Restroom)
- Administration Building – First & Second Floors (Single Restroom)
- Drengaelen House – First Floor (Single Restroom)
- Wiggins Admissions Building – First Floor (Single Restroom)
- Boathouse (Single Restroom)