UVic is consulting students, faculty and the public on the implementation of gender neutral washrooms. (Susan Quinn Photo)

UVic consulting on campus-wide gender inclusive washrooms

Surveys ask for input on way-fiding and stall signage

The University of Victoria (UVic) Equity and Human Rights department is consulting students on a campus-wide approach to supporting inclusive washrooms.

A working group formed in fall 2018 to develop the consultation process, which uses an online survey and in-person consultation – set for Jan. 31 – to ask for the public’s input.

RELATED: Adding more women’s and unisex bathrooms could help stores’ bottom line: UBC

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Back in 2012, two washrooms in the school’s Student Union Building opened as multi-stall gender inclusive facilities. UVic was the first campus on the Island to adopt the concept at that time.

Additionally, the school now has over 70 universal single-user washrooms – but says in the lead up to its online survey that it decided it was time to develop a campus-wide approach while UVic undergoes structural changes and development.

“Inclusive washrooms are essential if we want a campus that can be accessed by a diversity of students, faculty, staff and community members…” it states. “Not providing such spaces creates a systemic barrier which unfairly limits access for some groups. UVic is committed to being an accessible campus and welcoming a diversity of people.”

RELATED: Gender neutral washrooms flush away discrimination

RELATED: Ill-fitted gym attendees asked to butt out

The anonymous survey asks for feedback on written and visual recommendations, as well as personal experiences with inclusive washrooms.

It asks respondents for feedback on sign and stall design such as draft designs that show one way-finding sign with a toilet, urinal and accessibility symbol, and one with a male, female and accessibility symbol.

The survey also asks respondents to provide feedback on terminology, rating various terms like “universal washrooms,” “all-gender washrooms” or “inclusive washrooms.”

The online survey ends Feb. 7.

UVic declined to comment on this story while in the midst of its consultation process.

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