Update 22/05/2023: Estate Management has asked us to provide a list of preferred locations for the initial rollout. You can suggest locations here.
The Queer Collective is re-invigorating our decade-long campaign for gender neutral bathrooms to be standard at UNSW. Here's what you need to know.
What is this campaign?
The UNSW Queer Collective is organising the rollout of gender-neutral bathrooms across UNSW campuses in Sydney. We believe that the availability of bathrooms is essential to our vision of equity for queer students both on and off campus, and that gender neutral bathrooms provide an important recognition of queer students from the university.
What are you aiming to achieve?
- To have at least 1 gender neutral bathroom (excluding accessible bathrooms) on every floor of every building.
- To have gender neutral bathrooms included in the University's policies for future construction and renovation projects, demonstrating a commitment to inclusivity and equality. This would mainly target the Campus Planning and Design Specification.
- To educate the wider university community about gender identity and expression, and promote greater understanding and acceptance of gender diversity.
Gender neutral bathrooms are important on university campuses for a variety of reasons. Firstly, they promote inclusivity and make all individuals feel welcome, regardless of their gender identity or expression. This is particularly important for transgender and gender non-conforming students who often feel uncomfortable or unsafe using gendered bathrooms. Gender neutral bathrooms provide a safe and accessible option for all students, staff, and visitors to the campus.
Secondly, gender neutral bathrooms can help to reduce instances of gender-based violence and harassment on university campuses. Research has shown that transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming individuals are at a higher risk of experiencing such violence and harassment, particularly in gendered bathrooms, where the expectation of a single-gender space provided by divisions between male and female is weaponised and used to justify acts of violence and harassment against those who are perceived as 'intruding'. Gender neutral bathrooms establish an environment that people of all gender identities and presentations are not only able but expected to access, removing fear around people intruding on the 'wrong' bathroom and creating a safer environment in which violence and harassment against transgender, non binary, and gender non-conforming individuals cannot be given implicit permission under the guise of 'protecting single gender spaces'.
Finally, providing gender neutral bathrooms on university campuses is an important step towards creating a more inclusive and diverse environment. It demonstrates a commitment to creating a safe and welcoming space for all individuals and sends a message that the university values and respects all members of the community.
Overall, gender neutral bathrooms are an important aspect of promoting diversity and inclusivity on university campuses, and can help to create a more equitable and safer environment for all individuals.
How can I get involved?
- Filling out the Gender Neutral Bathrooms poll is the easiest way to contribute to this project. Whether or not you're trans or non-binary, this is the quickest way to show the uni that you believe in our goals.
- If you're a transgender or non-binary student or staff member at UNSW, or work at a company which has already rolled out gender neutral bathrooms, we'd love to get your insight. Drop us an email at [email protected], or contact us via social media.
- We're putting out social media material on Facebook, Instagram, and Discord. By sharing with your friends and social circles, you can bring awareness to our campaign.
We're excited to see how the university engages with our campaign, and look forward to working with the Collective on improving outcomes for queer students at UNSW throughout the year.