Students at Rotorua’s Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytechnic have successfully petitioned for more unisex toilets on their campus.
The campaign began in February and was led by the tertiary institute’s LGBTQ group. This push follows a report from a transgender student, who said they were harassed in a female toilet.
The petition received 826 signatures and was seen by the interim Chief Executive of Waiariki, Dr Neil Barns. He pledged to include unisex toilets in all new buildings on campus, available for use by all, and noted that he had no issue supporting the petition himself.
This result is heralded as a success by Amy Uluave, former Student Association President and the organiser of the petition, who said, “you often hear about petitions going around but nothing ever comes from them, so to have ours gain more than 800 signatures and actually see a change in an institute as big as Waiariki was a huge triumph for us.”
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The initial reaction from some students was not positive, though, with concern that all current bathrooms would be converted to unisex toilets. When the miscommunication was cleared up, the petition was viewed with positivity and backed by many students.