On Sept. 26, 2018, Recreational Sports will unveil its new universal locker room space for Rec Sports members.
In response to student and community interest, Recreational Sports has completed the construction of a portion of the locker rooms in the Recreational Sports Facility (RSF) to convert them into universal locker rooms. This was done to better serve our communities on campus who may prefer a non-binary or all-gender option, more privacy, or require disability accommodations.
The locker room, the first of its kind in the UC system, has completely private rooms for changing and showering, including disabled rooms/showers and an adult changing table. This includes 400 lockers, 16 individual changing rooms, seven private showers, five private toilets, and four shared sinks.
What does “universal” mean?
The universal locker room, with its completely private changing rooms, showers, and toilets is just that – can be used universally by all members, regardless of who they are or how they may identify. These spaces are inclusive of members with disabilities, members of all gender identities, and any who wish for privacy for any number of reasons.
Why was this done?
In the past, we have heard that some members felt uncomfortable only having a traditional choice of locker rooms and way to access the Spieker Pool. In coordination with the ASUC Student Union student government (elected student officials who represent the UC Berkeley student body at large), it was determined that a number of students and members who would benefit from this change, and thus the new universal locker room will create a safe space to use lockers and access the facility. We will also continue to have our gendered (male, female) locker rooms for those that wish to use them.
The creation of this locker room is also aligned to Berkeley values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
When did construction start?
Construction on our new universal locker room began in December 2017, and we’ve been working hard to unveil this new facility in time for the start of the new academic year.
Will the project have any impact on student registration fees or membership dues?
In 2015, the student body voted in a Wellness Referendum, with fees going into a Wellness Fund. In 2016, then-president of the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) and then-Rec Sports associate director led the creation of a proposal for the project — financially self-sustaining and free of the need for state or campus dollars — and submitted it to the Wellness Fee Advisory Committee and campus administrators.
The committee passed the proposal in fall 2016, and in June 2017, the campus’s chief financial officer provided an interest-free loan to Rec Sports to fund the project; the loan will be repaid over 15 years by Wellness Fee payments.
How does this affect locker room rentals?
This facility will contain 406 lockers (both day-use and long-term), 16 individual changing rooms, seven private showers, five private toilets and four shared sinks.
At this time, locker rental rates will remain unchanged. If you are interested in locker rentals in our new universal locker room, please let our staff know next time you’re at the RSF. Otherwise, it shouldn’t affect your rental experience.
Students will be given temporary priority consideration for locker rentals, after which all Rec Sports members will be eligible.
What is the protocol for using the universal locker space? Are there private changing areas and/or showering areas? For example, can one undress in the main space?
Members are asked to refrain from changing in the common areas, instead using the private changing rooms to disrobe/change.
What if I’m a disabled person with an attendant – can they have a locker next to mine?
We will make every effort to accommodate our disabled members. For attendants, this will be subject to space availability. Nevertheless, attendants are certainly welcome to join a disabled member to attend to their needs.
I’m gender-nonconforming, do I have to use the universal locker room?
You are not required – the universal locker room is for those members who wish to use it. Please utilize the locker room that suits your needs and identity.
How do I cancel my membership if I wish to do so?
Recreational Sports is still continuing to provide gendered (male, female) locker rooms for those that wish to use them.
However, in the event that you do not wish to continue your membership with us, you must complete our Action Request Form.