SGA passes unisex restroom bill
A week after the Student Government Association senate tabled a bill that favored the implementation of unisex restrooms in future buildings on campus, the senate revisited the matter Monday, Nov. 10 at its weekly meeting.
The bill passed.
India Napier, senator for the College of Veterinary Medicine, who sponsored the bill, cited unisex bathrooms could benefit a variety of people including families and transgender people in last week's Nov. 3 meeting.
At this senate meeting, a number of students and faculty showed up to voice their concerns and needs for unisex restrooms.
"This bill will not affect a majority of the student body," said Elizabeth Beasley, sophomore in forestry. "If anything, for the people it would affect, it is probably very important to actually have these be implemented across campus. Most of the unisex restrooms are not available to the students or if they are, they are extremely out of the way."
The Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Committee's bill will make it University protocol to implement unisex restrooms in newly constructed buildings across the campus.
Last week, Jeremy Wiley, director of the Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Committee, said the University had 178 unisex restrooms. However, Wiley's numbers were corrected by Elizabeth Moody, senator at-large, whose research showed the University actually has 235 unisex restrooms, 178 of which are available to students and visitors.
The numbers did not change how senators voted as the bill passed with less discussion than was held the week before.
Napier, who said she was not pleased with last week's results, said the bill being tabled was the best thing that could have happened because it gave senators the opportunity to hear the student body.
"What's a slap in the face to you is another moment to triumph, that's how I see it," Napier said. "We had a lot of people show up this time and had more voices to support the bill, which is better than what we did last week. (The bill) being tabled was actually the best thing that could have happened."
Although Napier said she is happy the bill finally passed, she expressed concern about her fellow SGA senators after they voted to remove Max Zinner, political director of Spectrum, Auburn's LGBT community, from the bill.
"I am so happy that it passed and that's all that matters, but I am disappointed with the modifications that were made," Napier said. "It was clear that the modifications, such as the lack of the gender identity line and the removal of the individual Max Zinner, really indicates that there is a discomfort in regard to gender identity with senators in SGA and that's something that they're going to have to deal with, not me."
In other SGA news:
* The senate passed two carryover requests.
* SGA currently holds $138,513.23 from last academic year, which was approved to be carried over to the 2014-2015 academic year.
* The University Program Council currently holds $23,506.16 from last academic year, which was approved to be carried over to the 2014-2015 academic year.