Gender inclusive bathroom signs vandalized

by James Kwon / Beacon Correspondent • November 9, 2016

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Spears first announced the new bathrooms on September 1.
Spears first announced the new bathrooms on September 1.

In an act of vandalism, signs promoting gender inclusivity were ripped off of bathroom doors in the Paramount Center.

Damage to the signs was first reported early last week to Sylvia Spears, vice president for diversity and inclusion. Emerson introduced gender inclusive bathrooms at the beginning of the semester. The new signs were implemented so that students could comfortably use the bathroom that they feel is right for them.

“I take [the vandalism] as an indication that somebody on our campus, or somebodies, are either upset or have issues with the fact that Emerson embraces gender diversity,” Spears said.

Spears said the theft of the signs was the only vandalism that has occurred in the bathrooms.

Freshman Jessica Makower, a resident at Paramount, said she was shocked by the act of vandalism.

“It’s really surprising because going to Emerson, there’s so many different people everywhere, and I always thought it was so inclusive,” Makower said. “To have this happen is unexpected from Emerson students.”

Spears said she thinks the motives of the wrongdoing lay in the goals of the inclusive bathrooms.   

“I think people have the right to have a difference of opinion about gender diversity, I’m here, I understand that,” Spears said. “This signals to me that somebody or some individuals on our campus have an issue with that.”