Trans Guide to Suffolk

Suffolk University is committed to creating an affirming community for our transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and agender nonconforming students, faculty, and staff. We're in the process of assessing the needs of our Trans community and will update this page frequently over the coming year. Developing this resource page is a core initiative for the Center for Student Diversity & Inclusion.
We encourage Trans students navigating campus services to reach out to our office for support and guidance as needed.

Our campus partners in Residence Life & Housing will work with all students to find a housing situation that is affirming and will support each student's academic growth. Returning students are able to choose to live with another student regardless of gender per our Open Housing policy.

If you have concerns about housing, please email the Center for Student Diversity & Inclusion.

Currently, transition-related care is covered by our student health insurance plan. If you need more information or have questions, please contact the Center.

The Suffolk University statement of nondiscrimination includes both gender identity and expression. If you feel that you have experienced a bias-related incident on campus, please consider reporting it to the Bias Incident Response Team.

As a part of our institutional commitment to fostering an inclusive campus for all members of our community, including visitors, Suffolk University has gender-inclusive restrooms in most of our buildings. One aspect of creating an inclusive environment is providing safe, accessible, and convenient restroom facilities. Many people may experience difficulties and inconvenience when required to use gender-specific restrooms. Transgender, gender non-conforming, non-binary, and agender individuals as well as parents with children of different genders and community members with attendants or caregivers of a different gender benefit from gender-inclusive restroom facilities. If you have questions about gender-inclusive restrooms, please see our Frequently Asked Questions section below.

Where You'll Find Single-Use Gender-Inclusive Restrooms

Building Floor Location Type Accessible?
73 Tremont Street No Inclusive Restrooms
One Beacon Street No Inclusive Restrooms
Sawyer Building 3 Two next to elevators Single-Occupancy Yes
8 Two next to elevators Multi-Stall Yes
12 Next to kitchen/lounge area; labeled WC for Water Closet Single-Occupancy Yes
20 Somerset All Floors (Except Café) Across from women’s room Single-Occupancy Yes
Ridgeway Gym Basement 2 near water fountain Single-Occupancy Yes
40 Court Street No Inclusive Restrooms
Sargent Hall 4 2 in Suite 495 (near Dean’s Office) Single-Occupancy Yes
5 Room 5523, near Men’s Room Single-Occupancy Yes
Miller Residence Hall 1 1 by elevators Single-Occupancy Yes
3 Far side of Café Single-Occupancy Yes
10 West 1 Near Residence Life Office Single-Occupancy Yes
2 In Mezzanine Single-Occupancy Yes
150 Tremont No Inclusive Restrooms
Modern Theatre No Inclusive Restrooms

Please check out the campus map to locate the buildings listed above. If you would like the Gender-Inclusive Restrooms Guide postcard, you can pick one up in our office.

Frequently Asked Questions

To aid in the transition from gender-specific to gender-inclusive restrooms we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help guide you in your conversations with students and other faculty and staff members. If you need further assistance, please contact the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion or 617-573-8613. You can also feel free to direct students to our office, which is located in Sawyer Building, Room 828.

Q: What is a gender-inclusive restroom?
A. Gender-inclusive restrooms are bathroom facilities that anyone of any, or no, gender can use. In contrast, gender-specific bathrooms are those that mark "men" or "women" on the door.

Q: Why are they important?
A: Gender-inclusive restrooms are an important way to create a safer campus environment for everyone. They are also a means by which our community can demonstrate our commitment to inclusion and diversity.Specifically, for transgender, genderqueer, and gender nonconforming individuals, gender-specific restrooms can be a place where they encounter intimidation, harassment, and/or violence. These individuals are sometimes deemed to be in the “wrong” bathroom. Having a safe place to go is a fundamental concern for this community.

Q: Why were these particular restrooms chosen?
A. Because they are in highly trafficked student areas without a gender-inclusive bathroom.

Q: I am uncomfortable using the restroom with people of other genders. What does this mean for me?

A. All buildings with gender-inclusive restrooms will continue to have gender-specific rooms on most floors. You can still use these restrooms. With that said, change can be uncomfortable. As we make alterations to increase access and education on this topic, we all have the opportunity to adapt to these changes. Sharing a restroom with other genders can be new and different. This might be an opportunity to engage critically with your ideas of sex, gender, modesty, comfort, public/private spaces, and social practices. Of course, you can choose between gender-specific and gender-inclusive restrooms.

Where are the closest gender-specific restrooms?
A. All buildings with gender-inclusive restrooms will continue to have gender-specific rooms on most floors. If the only option on the floor you are on is an inclusive restroom, the floors above and below will have gender-specific alternatives.

Q: What is a multi-use restroom?
A. In a multi-use restroom, more than one person can use the facilities at the same time.

Q: Will women be less safe in gender-inclusive restrooms?
A: When some people hear about gender-inclusive restrooms, their first reaction is to fear for women's safety. Yet the research in this area shows that women are currently not protected by the existence of gender-specific restrooms. The designation of a restroom as "women only" does not provide a real barrier to potential predators. Gender-specific restrooms don't prevent sexual assault. In addition, no study has proven that the designation of gender-inclusive restrooms increases incidents of sexual assault. Of course, people who are uncomfortable or who feel unsafe using a gender-inclusive restroom can use a gender-specific restroom close to anywhere they are on campus.

Q: Why aren't all of Suffolk's restrooms becoming gender-inclusive?
A: Inclusion means having options. We want to provide restrooms that work for our entire Suffolk community. Therefore, we will be keeping gender-specific restrooms.

Birth Assigned Sex – the designation that refers to a person’s biological, morphological, hormonal, and genetic composition. One’s sex is typically assigned at birth and classified as either male or female.

Cisgender – individuals whose gender identity and expression line up with their birth-assigned sex.

Gender Expression – a person’s presentation of their gender. These outward expressions of gender can be intentional or unintentional and involve one’s mannerisms, clothing, hair, speech, clothing, and activities (and more).

Gender Identity – a person’s innate sense of their own gender: being a man, a woman, a girl, a boy, in between, or outside of the gender binary.

Gender Non-Conforming - a person who challenges the gender binary by identifying or performing their gender outside in a way that does not conform to dominant constructions of masculinity and femininity.

Genderqueer – an identity term for a person who may not identify with and/or express themselves within the gender binary.

Transsexual – people who change their presentation to express their gender identity. Examples of these transitions might include changing one’s name, pronouns, hair, or manner of dress, and medical transitions, like gender affirmation surgery and/or hormone replacement therapy.

Transgender or trans - an umbrella term for people who do not identify with their assigned birth sex and/or whose gender expressions do not conform to societal expectations. Trans encompasses many different gender identities and expressions. Many people who do not identify as trans still face discrimination due to a real or perceived gender transgression.