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Friday, May 24
The Indiana Daily Student

IUSA congress has last voting meeting of semester

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The IU Student Association passed Tuesday eight resolutions creating gender-neutral bathrooms, implementing motion sensors in all residence halls and urging the Health Center to change wording on its website.

Congress unanimously passed a bill recommending IU make all single-person bathrooms gender-neutral. This would support the inclusion of all identities, bill sponsor Allison Larmann said.

There are already 150 universities across the country who have done this.

On IU’s campus, only Union Street Center and Collins Living-Learning Center have implemented gender-neutral restrooms.

This resolution would only change bathrooms that are already single-occupancy. The only thing that would change would be the sign on the door.

These signs cost between $15 and $35, so the resolution would be easy and inexpensive to implement.

This bill caused questions about whether the change is necessary. Grammarian Carmen Stacy said this bill made it seem like the phrase “single occupancy” was offensive.

“To say that it’s offensive sets a precedent to which anything can be construed as offensive,” Stacy said.

However, Larmann said the bill was not saying single occupancy was offensive 
at all.

“It’s arguing how there are gendered bathrooms that are for one person that could be used for all genders without anyone feeling uncomfortable,” Larmann said.

Jason Shader Smith, along with the education committee, sponsored a resolution that requested a change in wording on the Health Center’s website.

The home page has a question asking, “Do you have a gender preference or preferred name?”

The resolution said gender is not a preference, rather it is an identity; therefore, a gender should not be advertised as “preferred.”

The resolution requests the Health Center to change the wording to: “Do you have a gender or name that is different from your legal 
records?”

There were also questions about whether this bill would be necessary.

Co-sponsor Naomi Kellogg said although not everyone may be offended by the current website, many people are, so it should be changed. It may not bother the average person, but it bothers some groups.

“And by changing it, it also doesn’t bother you,” 
Kellogg said.

A resolution that caused much discussion was a bill that would redistribute IUSA congressional seats beginning the academic year of 2017-2018. Although the resolution did not pass, a change in the seat distribution is something Congress would like to see in future years.

Joe Wiegand, along with the oversight and reform committee, sponsored the bill. The problem with this resolution was the way the seats would’ve been 
distributed.

The new distribution would have had 43 seats for representatives, which would have been divided proportionally among schools.

Currently, the IUSA Congress has 63 seats that represent schools and residential areas. This bill would have eliminated residential seats.

“By limiting it to schools, we unintentionally silence many voices in many communities,” Smith said.

Smith said the redistribution should add seats for different diverse communities on campus.

Wiegand argued choosing different student groups could cause problems, so picking seats by school seemed like the most practical way.

It’s hard to pick and choose which student groups you want to be represented,” Wiegand said.

Some members said the wording of the bill is vague enough so it can include everyone because almost everyone on campus is a part of some school.

Although the bill did not pass, it is something the next administration will most likely look into changing.

In other business, Congress passed resolutions requiring the executives to follow up on the fulfillment of resolutions, promoting more career exploration courses across campus and increasing lighting around the SRSC, among others.

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