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10/30/2014 09:49 am ET Updated Oct 30, 2014

College Students Hold 'Sh*t-In' To Advocate For Gender-Neutral Bathrooms

A group of San Diego State University students hosted a "shit-in" in order to "raise awareness and advocacy for gender neutral/gender non-segregated bathrooms," according a Facebook page for the event.

The Trans* Action and Advocacy Student Coalition, which organized the Oct. 21 event, challenged participants not use bathrooms marked with "men" or "women" signs for one week. In addition, five toilets were placed outside one of the university's buildings. Resources and information about gender-neutral bathrooms, as well as a pledge and petition for students to sign, were available.

"The day of the event we passed out 500 flyers by 1:00 pm. 70 people pledged to take the gender-neutral bathroom challenge. Students stopped and inquired, took selfies on the toilets and hashtagged #sdsushitin," TAASC Force member A.T. Furuya told The Huffington Post.

A news release on the school's website notes gender-segregated bathrooms can be intimidating and pose safety threats to people in the trans community. SDSU listed where gender-neutral bathrooms are located on campus.

"These restrooms will provide a safe and necessary alternative for those students. I believe these restrooms are just the beginning of a much larger conversation pertaining to accessibility on campus for all students," executive vice president for Associated Students Kevin Hancock said in a statement.

But Furuya noted that the university has a long way to go.

"The campus has 344 gender segregated restrooms and only 15 gender neutral restrooms, 7 of those are located in one building, 3 in another and a couple aren't even accessible to students," Furuya told HuffPost. "The restrooms are located in far and inconvenient places. This campus has over 33,000 students it's time it became more accommodating for those that need access to use the bathrooms."

Although participants had fun at the event, sitting on the toilets and taking funny pictures, Furuya stressed the importance of the message.

“There is change, but it’s not happening fast enough," Furuya told the Daily Aztec. "Everybody keeps saying ‘oh we’re talking about it, we’re having meetings about it,’ but while you’re holding meetings, people are holding their piss."

Check out photos some students posted on Instagram and Twitter:

This posted has been updated to include comments from A.T. Furuya

HuffPost

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