It’s official: State universities in Florida must designate restrooms and changing facilities with options for exclusive use by males, exclusive use by females, or unisex facilities.
The regulation was passed Thursday with a near-unanimous decision to comply with House Bill 1521, which became law on May 18.
According to the bill, “‘Sex means the classification of a person as either female or male based on the organization of the body of such person for a specific reproductive role, as indicated by the person’s sex chromosomes, naturally occurring sex hormones, and internal and external genitalia present at birth.”
Universities must update their student code of conduct to align with the regulations. Employees who violate the law will be subject to the university’s disciplinary procedures, which may include dismissal.
Dr. Amanda Phalin, an instructional associate professor at the University of Florida and Chair of the Board of Governors Advisory Council of Faculty Senates, was a vocal opponent of the regulation. She said exclusionary bathroom policies could harm transgender students in the Board of Governors meeting.
“Currently, there’s no empirical evidence that links granting transgender individuals access to corresponding gender bathrooms that results in an increase in sexual offenses.” Dr. Phalin said.
By April 1, 2024, the university’s Board of Trustees or designees must submit documentation to the Board of Governors certifying compliance.
Florida public colleges were required in August to update restrooms and change facilities based on biological sex at birth.
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