Ekstrom Library Opens New Gender-Neutral Restroom

In an effort to create more inclusive and welcoming spaces, Ekstrom Library has renovated existing utility space into a gender-neutral restroom.

Located on the second floor in the west wing, the new restroom is open 24 /7, includes a changing table for families, and is fully accessible. It opened to the public on January 14.

“Students and employees have told us that this type of facility is a priority for them,” said University Libraries Dean Bob Fox. “We located the restroom in the west wing to make sure everyone has 24-hour access.

“I’m pleased that we were able to complete the project using funds from the bequest of William F. Ekstrom, the library’s namesake,” Fox said.

For several years, University Libraries leaders have gathered feedback from the Libraries Student Advisory Board, the Student Government Association, and campus employees who collectively expressed a desire for inclusive, accessible facilities. Provost Beth Boehm also has been supportive of the effort and is pleased that the Libraries were able to move forward with this.

Currently, two unisex restrooms are located in Starbucks, in Ekstrom’s west side, but are only available when the café is open. Libraries administration wanted to provide 24-hour access to such facilities.

Long-range plans for Ekstrom Library include creating more gender-neutral restrooms in other spaces as funding permits.