“It’s really important for all members of our campus community that we acknowledge diversity and create safe spaces on campus,” said Natalie Walliser, a planner with Infrastructure, Planning and Land Development. “Not only do these washrooms benefit anyone who is transgender, or exists outside of the gender binary, but also those with disabilities, elderly people, parents with children and anyone who may require assistance from someone of another gender.”
Prior to these upgrades, there were 17 inclusive washrooms existing on campus. With the conversions, and the new construction of the Collaborative Science Research Building, A-Wing and Merlis Belsher Place, there will be a total of 56 inclusive washrooms on campus by 2019. All new buildings on campus will include inclusive washrooms, in addition to female and male washrooms.
Members of the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Gender and Sexual Diversity (PACGSD)—formed in the 2006-07 and is made up of students, instructors, staff and community partners—encouraged the university to increase the number of inclusive washrooms on campus.
The committee is co-chaired by a staff member and the U of S Students' Union Pride Centre coordinator.
"Our committee helps the university create a community that embraces diversity and ensures fair, respectful and inclusive treatment of all its members," said Kenny Starling, outgoing USSU Pride Centre Coordinator who co-chairs the committee with a university employee.
Members of the committee also put on Positive Space workshops on campus throughout the year. They offer two options for the workshop: a three-hour session that provides introductory training; and a one-hour session which is more informational.
“Participants learn more about gender and sexual diversity, and how they can celebrate diversity and help to make the university a more welcoming, respectful and safe space for everyone,” said Starling.A complete list of inclusive washroom locations is available on the university’s online map.