The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

SGA senator leads bathroom initiative in fight for inclusiveness

Small signs, big steps

Austin Hronich/The Simpsonian

Austin Hronich/The Simpsonian

by Laura Wiersema, News Editor

INDIANOLA, Iowa — Several buildings on the Simpson College campus now don signs reading “All-Gender Restroom.” Despite their small size, the process to install them was no small endeavor for senior sociology major Shawn Schossow.

Last year, Schossow ran for a senator seat in the Student Government Association, armed with his idea of creating a safer and more comfortable space for students who don’t identify with the gender binary.

“Before I ran and was elected to SGA, where I presented and passed this measure, I was planning on it being my first project to bring to SGA, whether I was elected or not, as a way to be more inclusive on this campus,” he said.

The project passed the SGA early in the spring 2016 semester, but several months passed and the signs were not up. Upon investigation, Schossow discovered the process had come to a standstill in the business office, and the signs had never been ordered.

A few hoops later, the signs were ordered and installed during the summer. This move toward inclusion comes two years after Simpson introduced gender-inclusive housing on campus, allowing any students to share a room regardless of gender identity.

“I think Simpson is in the process of trying to make sure that they are creating a safe space for everyone of all gender identities,” said Baker Rogers, assistant professor of sociology and social work. “From students to staff to faculty, there have been pushes to move toward a more diverse and inclusive campus.”

The bathroom initiative is just another step the Simpson community is making toward being a more inclusive and accepting place.

“There are more classes where this is brought up, and more professors are starting to ask gender pronouns at the beginning of classes,” Rogers said. “I think we’re moving in the right direction.”

Despite the small advancements, Simpson still has a long way to go.

Rogers hopes one day the school’s bathrooms will be genderless. For now, Simpson will take the small strides.

“I am concerned with making this campus a more comfortable and inclusive space for those who face discrimination and oppression due to their sexuality, gender identification/expression, and/or sex,” Schossow said.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Leave a Comment

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • SGA senator leads bathroom initiative in fight for inclusiveness

    Campus News

    Police search for two men after attempted robbery on campus

  • SGA senator leads bathroom initiative in fight for inclusiveness

    Campus News

    RLC prepares for Simpson’s 148th baccalaureate service

  • SGA senator leads bathroom initiative in fight for inclusiveness

    Campus News

    Cecilia Martinez opens up about life of fear, uncertainty

  • SGA senator leads bathroom initiative in fight for inclusiveness

    Campus News

    Administration to investigate inequality after editorial

  • SGA senator leads bathroom initiative in fight for inclusiveness

    Campus News

    Making memories: Simpson yearbook returns to campus

  • SGA senator leads bathroom initiative in fight for inclusiveness

    Campus News

    President calls for campus procedure review after SAFE Alert

  • SGA senator leads bathroom initiative in fight for inclusiveness

    Campus News

    Pride Week, drag show gives students chance to express themselves

  • SGA senator leads bathroom initiative in fight for inclusiveness

    Campus News

    Simpson College continues 128-year tradition of Campus Day

  • SGA senator leads bathroom initiative in fight for inclusiveness

    Campus News

    Amnesty policy protects underage drinkers from discipline

  • SGA senator leads bathroom initiative in fight for inclusiveness

    Campus News

    Sigma Lambda Gamma is college’s first multicultural sorority