Editorial: We support USG’s gender-neutral bathrooms resolution

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It’s past time for improvement of transgender rights on our campus. But we’re hopeful because Undergraduate Student Government (USG) has passed a resolution to set up gender-neutral bathrooms in all campus facilities.

The resolution, aimed at the university, was initially authored as a counter to President Donald Trump’s initial proposal this summer to ban transgender individuals from serving in the military. Last Friday, Trump approved a policy stating that transgender individuals who have undergone gender transition are no longer qualified to serve in the U.S. military. While the policy does grant the Pentagon the ability to make some exceptions, it’s still overall anti-transgender.

In the midst of a political climate that is hurtful towards transgender people, USG’s resolution sends an important message: We, as a campus, refuse to let Trump take away our support for members of the transgender community.

Compared to a policy controlling participation in the U.S. military, the installment of all-gender bathrooms on a college campus might seem insignificant. The Editorial Board believes that even small changes can be meaningful steps towards supporting transgender rights.

The USG resolution follows a similar pattern as our campus’ response to the Trump administration’s fight against Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Last spring, CWRU signed a letter asking the U.S. Congress to support the so-called “Dreamers.” In the fall, following Trump’s threat to DACA, President Barbara Snyder sent a message to the entire campus: “Dreamers are welcome here.”

The Editorial Board is proud to be part of a campus that advocates for what is right, even when it isn’t easy.

Of course, the resolution is more than just a way to stand up to a corrupt administration. We hope that with a more transgender-friendly campus, people of all genders will feel comfortable, safe and included at CWRU.

We often hear about the importance of creating a diverse and inclusive environment at CWRU, and this phrase can sometimes seem fluffy. However, resolutions such as this one show that our campus is truly committed to making this nebulous phrase into a reality. We don’t just talk about how important it is to promote diversity and inclusion. We actually make real, physical changes to our facilities to work toward a more inclusive campus.

This Saturday is International Transgender Day of Visibility. Our campus needs to catch up.