UCF adds gender-neutral restrooms

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Students at the University of Central Florida will see a different kind of restroom around campus.

The new facilities aren't just only for men or only for women; they're marked as gender neutral.

"I wouldn't want to go to a bathroom that I don't feel comfortable in," one student told WFTV's Myrt Price.

Nine of the gender-neutral restrooms have been added around campus.

The gender-neutral restrooms are essentially family bathrooms that have new signs. Some of the new restrooms feature a man and woman on the placard outside the door.

Officials said they are hoping the changes outside will make those who walk inside feel comfortable.

The change was made after members of the gay and transgender community expressed concerns about not feeling comfortable in single-sex restrooms.

"I think it's great because it can be a real danger to people in the trans community, because they're afraid and they feel self-conscious about it and it's a big problem for them," said student Emily Fox.

Students we talked to were divided on the issue, but some believe the bathrooms are necessary.

"Everyone should feel comfortable going to the bathroom and if having this bathroom will help them out, then I'm OK with it," said student Carolina Gonzalez-Llanos.

Not everyone agrees.

"I don't think we should cater to a specific group," said one student.

"If it's going to cost the university more money, and it's coming out of my tuition, then I kind of have a problem," said student Alex Bosak.

UCF officials said they considered building totally new bathrooms, but this was more ccost-effective.

UCF released this statement about the new bathrooms:

"The university currently does not have a policy for gender identity and restroom matters, but it's important for our students, faculty, staff and guests to feel safe. A more universal labeling of our facilities increases our campus' accessibility for people with varying needs."