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I was introduced to the need for a map of the gender neutral and single user bathrooms in February of this year. I serve on a leadership for the USGA-Understanding Sexuality, Gender, and Allyship-an organization that meets off campus and supports LGBTQ BYU students in various ways. At one committee meetings the leaders mentioned that one of the unfinished projects that they had wanted to work on for years was a map of the gender neutral bathrooms on campus. There are many BYU students who experience gender dysphoria and/or identify as transgender, non-binary, or otherwise gender-non-conforming, and they face challenges finding a safe and private place to go to the bathroom. As a geography major I got really excited about the idea of using my skills to really help my fellow students.
Throughout the rest of the month Caleb gathered data from the list of bathrooms on the BYU accessibility center and from the Restroom function on the BYU app. Both sources had errors, and omissions, so Caleb had to check the location of each bathroom in each building on campus to ensure final data was completely accurate.
“Using ArcGIS online, a simple and user friendly mapping software, I mapped the locations across campus and included their room numbers, directions for hidden restrooms, and interesting traits about them or problems I had come across.
As I was working on the project I talked to my friends and acquaintances and showed them each update. They became super excited because they saw so much more potential than I had even thought of for the map. They helped me realize that young parents, people with disabilities, people struggling with OCD or anxiety, and so many more would be helped so much by my map.
As soon as I finished the map and published it online I went to CAPS to see if they would be interested in using it as a resource. They immediately saw the worth, and distributed the link to their therapists. The next day I presented the map to the USGA, at which point, the views on my map started going through the roof. The link to the map is now posted on the USGA social media and website. Throughout the week I got texts from various people giving me feedback, thanks, and most importantly Kendra Muller got in contact with me to find out who on earth the crazy guy was that had finally made a map of the gender neutral bathrooms. We began collaborating and trying to figure out how to distribute the map more effectively.
Since the release of the map it has garnered over a thousand views, and been a help to a diverse group of students. We have spoke with the accessibility center to make arrangements to get them to post a link on their website. We have also reached out to the OIT, the department in charge of the BYU app.”