Pride Center provides safe space for students

Single-stall bathrooms now required in new campus constructions


Contributed by Eagle Pride Center

A map of gender-neutral bathrooms located on campus

By Rosie Perry, Staff Writer

The Pride Center is where students of all gender, sexual and romantic orientations can find a safe and affirming place to be themselves.

Though the Pride Center caters to students who fall into the LGBT spectrum, all students are welcome in the center.

Eagle Pride is a student club that anyone can join. It meets Thursdays at 4 p.m. in the Pride Center, which is located in Showalter Hall 105. Eagle Pride is advised by the Pride Center manager Nicholas Franco and is completely free to join. “We want it to be as accessible as possible,” Franco said.

Though The Pride Center and Eagle Pride go hand in hand, it is important to note that they are two separate entities.

Franco has been the Pride Center manager for about three months and has many goals he would like to see achieved during his time at EWU.

The main goal Franco would like to see achieved for the Pride Center is an increase in space. Their current facility is quite cramped, making it difficult for Eagle Pride to hold their meetings. Currently, there is a plan in place for the Pride Center to move to the PUB once the remodel is complete. Though this is approximately two and a half years away Franco said they are excited for the upgrade.

On Jan. 7 the president of the university, Mary Cullinan, Ph.D., attended an Eagle Pride meeting to hear concerns from the students and attempt to resolve the issue or reduce the concern. “Her attendance gave students a really rare opportunity to not only get to know the president, but also share what they are feeling about the climate at EWU,” Franco said.

At the meeting the most common concern facing students was the lack of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus.

The Pride Center created a map of campus with the bathrooms highlighted for students struggling to find them.

“While gender-neutral bathrooms are great, there is a lack of single-stall bathrooms on campus,” Franco said. In this regard, Franco’s work advocating for students seems to have had some effect. From now on all new buildings on campus will be required to have at least one single-stall restroom on every floor.

On Dec. 26, 2015, the Human Rights Commission was able to obtain legislation to clarify what should be done about bathrooms in terms of making sure they are inclusive of all gender identities. This means all bathrooms, showers and locker rooms that are in public accommodations are to be used based on gender identity and not biological sex.

Progress is being made on all fronts for the Pride Center. Franco appears to be doing a great job advocating for his students over the past few months and he hopes to see more progress before the end of the year.

For more information regarding new laws on inclusive restrooms on campus visit the following link: