Tags: NCAA | Rule | Athletes | Bathrooms | University | Championship

NCAA Rule Allows Athletes Use Bathrooms, Locker Rooms of Choice

Image: NCAA Rule Allows Athletes Use Bathrooms, Locker Rooms of Choice
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By    |   Tuesday, 26 Jul 2016 01:38 PM

A new NCAA rule would require participating colleges and universities to let athletes choose the bathrooms and locker rooms they will use at championship events, regardless of their anatomy.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced that its Board of Governors has introduced a new rule that requires cities and campuses looking to host championships to fill out a questionnaire on any laws or regulations about "choice of bathrooms or locker rooms" for all those who would attend such events, including athletes, coaches, staff and fans.

"Historically, the Association has used the opportunity to host its events as a means to make clear its values," reads a statement about the change. Currently sites that display the Confederate battle flag and schools that use Native American imagery in an abusive or offensive manner are prohibited from hosting NCAA championships.

"The board's decision follows the recent actions of legislatures in several states, which have passed laws allowing residents to refuse to provide services to some people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. While proponents of the laws focus on how they protect religious beliefs, critics have voiced concerns that they create an environment of sanctioned discrimination."

Opponents on rules allowing people to choose bathrooms based on gender identity rather than anatomy say they would open bathrooms and locker rooms to voyeurs and sexual predators. USA Today reports a case in Seattle where a man, who didn't identify as a woman to staff, attempted to use the women's locker room at a public pool and began disrobing in the presence of young girls. There is no specific protocol for how to identify someone's gender to use the locker room, and employees rely on verbal identification or physical appearance.

"This didn't seem like a transgender issue to staff — someone who was 'identifying' as a woman," David Takami, a Seattle Parks spokesman, said in a statement. "We have guidelines that allow transgender individuals to use restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. We want everyone to feel comfortable in our facilities."

The University of Toronto attempted to introduce gender-neutral bathrooms in residence halls, but last year the policy was rolled back following instances of voyeurism by young males. Some attempted to hold cell phones over shower-stall dividers and record women showering, according to The Huffington Post.

"I think it sucks that there are going to be people that don't feel safe in Whitney now, and that we can't have an inclusive environment," said Melissa Birch, a student in Whitney Hall where one incident took place.

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A new NCAA rule would require participating colleges and universities to let athletes choose the bathrooms and locker rooms they will use at championship events, regardless of their anatomy.
NCAA, Rule, Athletes, Bathrooms, University, Championship
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2016-38-26
Tuesday, 26 Jul 2016 01:38 PM
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