University College Dublin makes 170 toilets gender neutral
In a bid to be more welcoming to transgender students, University College Dublin is re-designating dozens of its on-campus toilet facilities to be gender neutral.
The move will see some 170 bathrooms across its entire campus as gender neutral and it will also introduce gender-neutral changing rooms for its sports centre.
It is part of a new university policy which aims to welcome trans students and employees.
Ireland’s Minister for Children, Katherine Zappone, who campaigns for LGBT equality, said that the move is a step towards “full equality for all”, announcing the new policy on Thursday.
She added: “Our universities are drivers of change, promoters of equality and champions of justice.”
“UCD is continuing that proud tradition by providing a welcoming campus for trans and gender-fluid students and employees.”
It is also expected that Ms Zappone will also announce her support for LGBT-inclusive sex and relationships education.
The process of moving the toilet facilities across to gender-neutral has begun.
They will have signs with multiple symbols to display that they are gender-neutral.
Facilities at UCD’s Sports Centre will also have signs welcoming transgender people and demonstrating that people can use the changing rooms they feel most comfortable with.
University authorities will soon begin the process of re-designating single-stall toilets and changing rooms as gender neutral.
The changing facilities at the Sports Centre will have multiple stalls.
Other universities are also following similar trends.
Dublin City University and DIT university have already begun replacing toilet and changing facilities to be more welcoming.
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DCU followed its students’ wishes last year in introducing the toilets on all three of its campuses, all at once.
Meanwhile, Trinity College, Dublin previously stopped using the term ‘freshman’ and is replacing it with the gender-neutral term ‘fresh’.
But UCD’s change is being celebrated as the biggest so far in Ireland.
Its new policy is called its ‘gender identity and expression policy’, and aims to be more welcoming to gender non-conforming and transgender people.
The vice president for equality, diversity and inclusion at UCD, Colin Scott, said this was a “milestone achievement”.