SGA looks to establish gender-neutral restroom


Jared Casto

SGA Treasurer Matt Jarvis addresses the SGA senate Tuesday. SGA passed a resolution to change existing restroom facilities to gender-neutral as well as a resolution to investigate the institution of a collegiate drug addiction recovery program.

Marshall Student Government passed resolutions during Tuesday’s meeting to request the establishment of a gender-neutral restroom in the Memorial Student Center and to investigate the institution of a collegiate drug addiction recovery program.

Sen. David Crawley spoke on behalf of the resolution to establish a gender-neutral restroom in the MSC, saying there are already gender-neutral bathrooms present on campus in high-traffic areas such as Drinko Library and the Marshall Rec Center.

According to Crawley, the resolution does not call for creating new facilities, but rather converting some existing facilities into “gender neutral” or “family” restrooms.

“It’s not doing any work on the bathrooms themselves, it’s just replacing the plaque,” Crawley said.

Treasurer Matt Jarvis said several universities in the state, such as West Virginia University, already have these types of facilities and establishing them at Marshall would be another way to bring the university into the 21st century.

Additionally, Jarvis said a gender-neutral bathroom would provide comfortability for transgender students, but would also provide family restrooms for those in need of them.

“Obviously this really does really help the transgender community, but don’t limit it to just that,” Jarvis said. “We have parents bringing their kids. If you’re a father and you want to go to the restroom when you have your daughter with you, these are going to be accessible for them.”

Sen. Lora Walker spoke to the senate about her resolution to investigate the establishment of a collegiate recovery program at Marshall University. The program would provide support for students recovering from drug addiction.

According to Walker, WVU is currently in the process of launching its own collegiate recovery program and her resolution is to investigate if a similar program is possible at Marshall.

“This resolution is just establishing a base-level way to investigate what we can do here to help students through the recovery process and encourage them to continue their college education,” Walker said.

Walker said a collegiate recovery program would be similar to having an advisor who also doubles as a counselor to assist with addiction problems that could interfere with a student’s academic career.

“This wouldn’t be a 12-step program,” Walker said. “It’s more like they set you up with a person to talk to throughout and tell you how to schedule what’s good for the rest of your college career.”

The resolution to investigate the establishment of a collegiate recovery program at Marshall passed.

President pro tempore Alex O’Donnell asked members to reflect on their accomplishments during session 73 of the student senate. O’Donnell personally thanked the senate for promoting student involvement with this fall’s presidential search.

“That’s a really good function of the university that most SGA people don’t get to experience,” O’Donnell said. “You guys did, and you guys were really good at it.”

Student body president Duncan Waugaman echoed O’Donnell’s sentiment and said student opinion garnered by SGA was instrumental in choosing Jerome Gilbert as the 37th president of the university.

Adviser Matt James said he was excited the diversity of student government has increased since he began advising.

“When I was in SGA, it was a lot of the same types of students,” James said. “It’s nice when people bring different issues to the table and you guys debate. That’s the purpose of this body.”

The senate also passed funding bills for Marshall University Young Democrats and Women’s Lacrosse.

Jared Casto can be contacted at [email protected]