Campus Reform | New Harvard web app will help ease ‘anxiety’ around finding 'gender inclusive' bathrooms for students

New Harvard web app will help ease ‘anxiety’ around finding 'gender inclusive' bathrooms for students

Harvard University is developing a web application will help ‘gender nonbinary, and gender nonconforming’ students find gender inclusive restrooms on campus.

The goal of the app is to help with discrimination and reduce anxiety for those who don’t have access to restrooms.

The university determined that this is a ‘public health concern.’

Harvard University is developing a web application that will show where “gender inclusive restrooms” are located across campus. The project titled, “The Gender Inclusive Restroom Mapping” hopes to prevent discrimination and anxiety for gender nonconforming individuals who aren’t able to find the appropriate restroom on campus. Harvard also stated that it is a “public health concern.”

According to the Harvard Crimson, the university created four separate working groups that will help with the project. The signage, inventory, mapping technologies, and promotion/communication working groups collaborated to determine the location of restrooms across campus and consulted with groups to promote awareness.

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Harvard published a PDF that gives a summary, and the intended impact of the project.

"The Gender Inclusive Restroom Mapping project for Harvard University seeks to ensure that all Harvard community members, including those who are transgender, gender nonbinary, and gender nonconforming, have accurate and inclusive means of locating restrooms at Harvard," the flyer states. “Specifically, the project will inventory and discreetly communicate, via a web application, the location of gender inclusive restrooms across Harvard’s Cambridge, Allston, and Boston campuses.”

One section of the PDF explains that individuals, “will be able to search for and find detailed information about each restroom.”

Harvard also explains the “intended impact” of the project, stating, “Discrimination against transgender, gender nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people in public restrooms often leads to experiences of anxiety around restroom use, restroom avoidance, and lack of restroom access.”

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It goes on to explain that this is “a public health concern,” which sometimes causes individuals to travel long distances to find the appropriate bathroom. The app will provide access to “safe restrooms” and will reduce anxiety.

“This reduces time spent searching for such facilities, ameliorates fears surrounding exclusion or harassment, and signals in a high-impact, low-cost fashion that Harvard is a community in which we not only celebrate diversity—we honor it.”

Groups that helped with the “Gender Inclusive Restroom Mapping project” include the Title IX Office, Harvard Medical School, the Office of the President and Provost, the Office of the BGLTQ Student Life, and several others.

Campus Reform has reached out to Harvard University for comment and haven’t received a response.

Follow the author of this article: Haley Worth