Media tour: State’s largest collegiate universal locker room to open

ATTENTION: General assignment and higher education reporters
BROADCAST MEDIA: Sound bites and 360-degree photos will be available

WHAT: A media tour of the new 4,500-square-foot universal locker room at UC Berkeley’s Recreational Sports Facility (RSF). The facility formally opens the following day.

Berkeley is believed to be the first university in California — and one of just a few in the nation — to provide a large-scale locker room with private changing, showering and restroom spaces for a wide variety of campus populations, including students who identify as transgender or non-binary, or who have disabilities, body image challenges or other needs for privacy.

The approximately 4,500-square-foot space has 400 lockers, 16 individual changing rooms, seven private showers, five private toilets and four shared sinks. The RSF’s men’s and women’s locker rooms will continue to be available.

WHEN: 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25. No media access will be granted starting Wednesday, Sept. 26.

WHERE: Recreational Sports Facility (RSF), 2301 Bancroft Way, UC Berkeley.

WHO: Members of the campus community at the tour will include:

  • Brigitte Lossing, associate director, RSF
  • Trineice Durst, former associate director, RSF
  • Stephen Sutton, vice chancellor, Student Affairs
  • Billy Curtis, director, Gender Equity Resource Center
  • Martha Velasquez, associate director, Disabled Students Program
  • Ben Perez, manager, Campus Access Services
  • Yongqi Gan, student chair, Berkeley Wellness Fund
  • William Morrow, former president, Associated Students of the University of California

DETAILS: In 2015, UC Berkeley students voted to pass the Wellness Referendum, which set up the Wellness Fee — an annual student fee of $160 to support “wellness services and programming for students, as well as renovations, furnishings and alterations to existing spaces required to support these new wellness programs.”

The locker room is a $2.7 million Wellness Fund project being financed through an interest-free loan provided to Rec Sports in June 2017 by the campus’s chief financial officer; the loan will be repaid over 15 years by payments from the Wellness Fee.

“The universal locker room issue was a matter of equity and access,” says student Yongqi Gan, chair of the Wellness Fund. “Our intention is to make wellness, both physical and mental, available to all students.”