Elon students stage “pee-in” in protest of HB2
Since controversial House Bill 2 two weeks ago, Elon has responded with a campus statement, educational sessions and through Elon students posting fliers. Yet for Monique Swirsky, sophomore and SPECTRUM president, this wasn’t enough.
She wanted spread her message of opposition outside of Elon’s campus so Swirsky, along with more than 20 other Elon students, drove about an hour down the road to Raleigh’s city council meeting on Tuesday night.
While the Raleigh City Council had nothing to do with the passage of HB2, Swirsky said that by protesting at the meeting they could reach a larger audience and encourage the city to make a resolution against the bill.
“A lot of people are here, we can reach a lot of people with information and educating them about how HB2 impacts the state,” she said.
The students spent the night handing out fliers that explained actions that the city of Raleigh could do to oppose the bill to attendees and council members, but the protest wasn’t limited to the halls of the municipal building.
They called it a “pee-in.” Students of both genders stood in the men’s and women’s restrooms and handed out fliers to people when they entered. Swirsky said the point of the “pee-in” was to bring attention to the way the bill forces transgender individuals to use the bathrooms that don’t align with their gender identities and to make people at the council meeting feel uncomfortable themselves.
“We hope that by standing in the bathrooms that we will make people understand how uncomfortable that is for others,” she said.
Swirsky said protests like this are part of being a college student.
“I think particularly as college students we have a responsibility to be civically engaged, civically minded and to fight for our civil rights,” she said.
Swirsky said this is far from the last Elon protest against HB2.