September 15th, 2021
Illinois Tech: Office of Residence Life
3241 S. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL 60616
Re: The Installation of Single-Gendered Signs in the Gender Neutral Residence Halls
Dear Office of Residence Life,
The Illinois Tech student community endeavors to be a welcoming and inviting home to its diverse population. To that end, the students of Illinois Tech have repeatedly asked for support by providing gender-neutral options within the campus residence halls. Such options are necessary to improve the quality of life for many students, including our gender non-binary peers, for whom living in gendered facilities is a source of dysphoria.
A key component of gender-neutral residences is having gender-neutral bathrooms. The installation of single-gender bathroom signs within the gender-neutral floors negates the neutrality of the space and directly harms the mental health of some of our most vulnerable peers. That this change was made without consulting with the students living in these facilities is especially galling. The students living in these accommodations have specifically indicated their desire for a gender-neutral environment, so to gender that environment after they have moved in is disrespectful to student autonomy.
We strongly encourage the Office of Residence Life to remove these signs and then discuss this matter with the residents of the affected floors. Gendering the bathrooms of gender-neutral housing is not an empathetic nor productive path forward. We kindly ask that the university respect our peers as much as we do.
The Student Government Association of Illinois Tech