The athletic department is in talks to update the Kellogg gymnasium to be more gender inclusive and in compliance with Title IX.
The gym’s design reflects the time of the 1960s when CPP transitioned from being an all-male school to being gender inclusive.
The structure presently maintains its original layout with a single female restroom placed in the left corner furthest from the main entrance, and no locker room designated for females.
The female locker room is in a building separate from Kellogg gym.
“At first, I thought it was a bit sexist,” said Venus Mae Magsi Gamboa, a fourth-year computer information systems student regarding the current location of the female restrooms and locker room. “But I realized the gym was built a long time ago, so I guess it kind of makes sense.”
Athletic facilities are regularly the basis of discrimination throughout history, therefore, it is not unusual for Kellogg gymnasium to be originally designed without a locker room for females and one female restroom located on the furthest end of the gymnasium.
The educational amendments, which included Title IX came into legislation in 1972, after the conception of Kellogg gym. Title IX protects against discrimination in federally funded programs, including athletics, scholarships, bathrooms and any other aspects which could affect a student’s ability to successfully thrive within the educational program.
With Title IX protecting equity and inclusivity, the bathroom location falls out of line with Title IX mandates because it gives female students problematic access to restrooms while participating in activities in the Kellogg gymnasium.
Linda Hoos, chief diversity officer, Title IX Coordinator and ADA coordinator at CPP, described discrimination under Title IX as something that occurs within a federally funded educational program that would adversely impact an individual’s ability to be successful in that educational program.
“The purpose of Title IX is to make sure someone is not having a hostile experience,” said Hoos.
Walking from room 128 in Kellogg gym, a room frequently used for kinesiology classes, to the female restroom takes approximately two and a half minutes.
Going back and forth to the restroom takes about five minutes, not including the time it takes to use the restroom itself.
This distance is creating an adverse experience for some female students who utilize the Kellogg gymnasium regularly for classes.
“It takes maybe five minutes to walk to the bathroom to the classroom,” said Gamboa.
“I don’t use the bathroom during class. I just don’t think I have time. Going back and forth would be a hassle.”
Historically, athletic-related Title IX complaints are common with 3,609 reported in the United States in the 2013-2014 academic year, according to Hoos.
Stephanie Duke, associate athletic director and Title IX deputy is working with Hoos and the rest of the Title IX department to create a more equal and ideal female restroom and locker room situation for the athletic department.
“There has been conversation, it started about four years ago, to move everything, all the locker rooms for all of our students cause this is not just an athletic issue, it’s a student issue, and we need to make sure that there’s equitable spaces for both gender students,” said Duke.
There are two athletic buildings located on campus where classes are held, the Kellogg gym and the Darlene May gym, named for the famous women’s basketball coach who is remembered as a trailblazer in Title IX progress for women according to Duke.
Students on campus commonly believe Kellogg gym is for males and the Darlene May gym is for females.
The department bares no distinction that the gyms are intended to be separated by gender.
With the support of the students, the department intends to cultivate plans to adjust Kellogg gym to be in line with the needs of all students in the future.
Gender neutrality between the facilities will be more apparent, and the athletic educational experience of the students is more copacetic, whether it is by renovating the current locker room spaces, or by creating a new space entirely.
Historically, athletics are important to many colleges, and in the present time, gender is no exception to athletic excellence and desirability because male students and female students are held to the same standards of academic success congruent with athletic participation.
“It would be nice, though, if they made it more convenient for the ladies,” said Gamboa.