The Offices of Equity and Inclusion, Disability Services and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Ally (LGBTQA) Affairs received the 2018 Outstanding Collaborative Units Award for creating inclusive and accepting spaces for LGBT students, faculty and staff.
The offices’ most significant achievement in the last year was creating all-gender restrooms in nearly every building on the Dayton Campus. Becca Webb, administrative specialist in the Department of English Language and Literatures in the College of Liberal Arts, is proud of Wright State’s commitment to the LGBT community.
“Wright State’s image of affirmation and pride toward members of the LGBTQAI+ community is one of admirable pioneering,” she said. “Tremendous leaps have been made, attracting a large number of students, faculty and staff searching for a university that embraces and encourages them.”
Over the past year, the Offices of Equity and Inclusion, Disability Services and LGBTQA Affairs have collaborated to increase the number of all-gender restrooms on campus. The ability to safely use a restroom without fear or dysphoria is something many students lacked before the initiative took effect. One student recalled waiting to use the restroom until they went to Allyn Hall, where the only single-stall, gender-neutral restroom was available at the time.
Lindsay Miller, the director of equity and inclusion, Petey Peterson, director of LGBTQA affairs, and Tom Webb, director of disability services, worked together to identify restrooms in nearly every campus building that could be easily converted to an all-gender restroom. The university also posted signs pointing to the nearest gender-neutral restrooms.
Along with creating more gender-neutral restrooms, the offices have improved and revised Wright State’s statement of diversity, which had been last updated in 1981. The statement was expanded to ensure inclusion of all kinds, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Patricia Schiml, lecturer of psychology, commended the offices for their effective work.
“We are meeting the needs of all who attend our campus, whether that attendance be daily and on a prolonged basis or brief in the form of a quick visit,” she said. “I am personally excited at seeing the commitment of everyone involved.”