Declaring a Transgender Bathroom Policy: Where Does Marist Stand?

By Michelle DeMartino and Caroline Fiske

The biggest issue with the declaration of a transgender bathroom policy “is not a moral issue,” said Dr. Ferrer-Medina. “It’s a money issue.”

Down the long hallway of Donnelly’s basement entrance and in the lobbies of New Gartland buildings A and B lie the gender-fluid bathrooms of Marist College. 

Dr. Patricia Ferrer-Medina, the chair for the LGBTQ Sub-Committee of Diversity Council, says that Marist does not “officially” have a transgender bathroom policy. The council aims to educate the Marist population about the struggles of the LGBTQ community. Ferrer-Medina did mention, however, that Marist did make bathroom accommodations for one particular student’s needs.

“We did have a student that needed some accommodations last year, and accommodations were given to the student,” Dr. Ferrer-Medina said.

However, the transgender bathroom policy at Marist has remained unclear, with many unanswered questions: Why are the locations not on Marist’s website? 

“Because of its history, Marist is a traditional school. So when things don’t happen, it takes a long time for them to see the need for change,” Dr. Ferrer-Medina said.

To compare, Fairfield University, a nearby college which declares itself Jesuit and Catholic, displays its transgender bathroom policy on its website, with their nine locations on the campus. Marist’s transgender bathroom policy is absent from its LGBTQ Resources page.

In the past, when Marist decided to compete against Duke for its basketball team, four LGBTQ alums wrote letters to President David Yellen expressing their negative feelings regarding this event. LGBTQ Marist alums did not believe that Marist was taking positive steps towards a safer LGBTQ community. 

One thing is clear: while gender-fluid bathrooms exist at Marist, the transgender bathroom policy remains “officially” undeclared.

This map below shows the two locations of the transgender bathrooms on the Marist College campus. 

Pink= Basement of Donnelly  Blue= Lobbies in New Gartland buildings A and B

Pink= Basement of Donnelly

Blue= Lobbies in New Gartland buildings A and B

Caroline Fiske