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F EATU RE S
FEBRUARY 14, 2014
Shore Hall introduces first gender-neutral bathroom
BY NICOLE ZELNIKER
Deciding which bathroom to use is typically an easy
choice for students to make. "Girls" go into the bathroom
labeled "girls," and "boys" go into the bathroom labeled
"boys," but for students that don't fit this gender binary
as easily, that decision becomes harder.
Junior and Trans*Action president James Escobedo
believes that not having a gender neutral bathroom can
"Sometimes it's not very safe for a trans* student to go
into either a male or female bathroom," said Escobedo.
Shore Hall Director Kristie Wyatt discussed how the
bathroom came to be in an email interview.
"The gender-neutral bathroom was born out of a
community meeting initiated by two of my residents in
Shore Hall, and the building's overall interest made the
Honors Hall a great place to start this project," said Wyatt.
Escobedo elaborated further on the steps that needed
to be taken.
"We went through Trans*Action," said Escobedo. "We're
a club for trans* identifying students. We came up with
a plan of action for getting a gender-neutral bathroom."
While a gender-neutral bathroom is a step in the right
direction, that's all it is: a step.
"I still feel as though more steps should be taken, but
it's a good start," said first-year Taylor Brown.
Admissions Director Andy Strickler believes a gender-
neutral bathroom is a natural step our college should be
"Gender-neutral bathrooms have been present on
college campuses for at least two decades," said Strickler
in an email interview. "My older brother started college in
1987, and his alma mater had gender-neutral bathrooms
from his first year."
According to Brown, gender-neutral housing is next.
"What we're trying to do is set up one of the theme
houses as gender-neutral so students who come out as
genderqueer or transitioning have a place to live instead
of having to deal with buying out a single just so they can
have that privacy," said Brown. "They can have a place
where they know they aren't alone."
"With transitioning, it's really awkward to be around a
person you don't think is particularly queer friendly," said
junior and Pride Vice President Sidra Dillard. "You're
doing a lot of stuff physically, and it's awkward to have
(a roommate) who can see it."
As for the bathroom, whether a small step or a leap,
students and faculty alike are extremely excited.
"I suspect it will impact a large number (of students) in
the long term," said Strickler.
"I am extremely excited about the new signage and
inclusive nature of the gender-neutral bathroom and am
looking forward to seeing the project expand throughout
the campus," said Wyatt. "It has been a long time
Dillard is also looking forward to the new bathroom.
"I really like the sign that says 'All bodies welcome,"'
said Dillard. "That's my favorite part. 'All bodies
welcome' is a powerful concept. It doesn't matter what
your body looks like."
How to make the best of your Valentine’s Day
BY KELLI URESTI
Valentine's Day can be a day of romance
for some, while dreadful for others.
Either way, we all know it is coming and
must find some way to cope. Planning
for Valentine's Day is essential, but
unfortunately, matters of love can be quite
confusing at times. Here is a quick guide
to planning the perfect Valentine's Day.
Asking someone to be your valentine
can be nerve-racking, so here are a few
"I would want someone to get a blimp
that says, 'Gabby, be my valentine' or to
write it in the sky by a jet," said senior
"I would want something creative and
funny if I were asked to be someone's
valentine," said junior Turner Votipka.
Chocolates are always a must on
Valentine's Day. Sending a card saying "Be
Mine" with a red rose is a nice gesture.
Whether spending big bucks to rent a
blimp or simply sending a Valentine's Day
card, create a moment that will be special
for both you and your crush.
"Unfortunately, I will be on a bus for
Valentine's Day, but if I were to be home, I
would go to Celebration Station and play
games with my girlfriend," said Oglesby.
Votipka is another Quaker athlete who
will be spending his Valentine's Day
heading to a match.
"This will probably be my worst
Valentine's Day," said Votipka. "I will be
spending it on a bus crowded with guys."
Guilford faculty members have their
own plans for Valentine's Day.
Head volleyball coach Emily Gann
said that she will be celebrating with
her husband by watching him coach his
"Quality time with someone that you
love — whether boyfriend or girlfriend or
a friend — it is nice to hang out with them,
to put away the phones and spend some
quality time together," said Gaim.
Robert Duncan, visiting assistant
professor of political science, has been
with his wife for 35 years.
He typically gets a flower and a card for
his longtime valentine, although Duncan
believes Valentine's Day to be just another
After spending 35 years in love with his
wife, Duncan has provided young couples
with credible advice for Valentine's Day.
"If I was courting my wife, what I
would arrange is a very romantic dinner,
have a nice dessert, take her home and
stand in the doorway saying goodbye for
two hours," said Duncan.
Oglesby suggested renting a movie,
getting takeout and just enjoying one
Some wonder, "Who buys the gifts?
What should I get? Can I afford this?"
The most influential gifts are those that
No one needs a diamond necklace or
a Rolex on Valentine's Day. If you can't
afford it, don't buy it.
Candy, flowers and a stuffed animal are
all good options. Conveniently, you can
find all three at the nearest CVS.
Another idea is to make a collage of
memorable photographs, which is both
heartwarming and cost-effective. It is
sweet, thoughtful and you don't have to
spend more than 20 dollars.
These are just a few quick tips for
planning your Valentine's Day. Celebrate
with friends or that one special person, but
remember that Valentine's Day is a day to
do a little extra for those who mean the
most to you.