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July 23, 2018 | by  | in News |
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Unisex Toilets Still in the Pipeline

Victoria has 95 “Accessible/Unisex” toilets across all campuses. However, the vast majority of these toilets double as disability toilets, and some students feel uncomfortable claiming these spaces.
The LBGTQI Project Report conducted in 2017 related to the experiences of the Rainbow community at Victoria University. Focus groups concluded that Rainbow communities experience a disproportionate number of challenges in the tertiary environment, such as verbal & physical harassment, disconnection, isolation, and health issues.
In the report, a number of students also described feeling isolated within University accommodation, indicating that development is needed to increase LGBTQIA+ access to facilities and accommodation.
Marlon Drake, VUWSA president, said there is a “significant lack” of all-gender bathrooms at Vic. “The only ones available are the disability toilets which are inappropriate to occupy and not specifically designated as gender-neutral.”
An anonymous ex-student of Victoria University who identifies as queer and non-binary, said “I feel completely uncomfortable in the female bathrooms and would never step foot in the male bathrooms.”
“The university has…suggested using the disabled bathrooms, but whenever I do I feel like I’m taking that space away from someone who needs it more than me. I know a lot of other trans and gender diverse students who feel the same.”
Billy Brokenshire noticed that there are all-gender toilets at Kelburn, “but only a few”.
“Why don’t they just make them all gender-neutral? Also are there even any gender-neutral bathrooms at Pip? Smh.”

The report offers recommendations on being inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, takatāpui, and other sexual and gender minorities at Victory University of Wellington. Suggestions included an increase in the number of all-gender bathrooms on campus, to provide students with all-gender bathroom location maps for every campus at Victoria, and to establish university-wide technology support for non-binary gender markers.
Stephen Costley, Director of Property Services at Victoria University, said that “Victoria University first instituted gender-neutral bathrooms in 2010, and has since strove to provide gender-neutral bathrooms in new facilities”.
There is no readily available lists of the locations of all-gender toilets at Vic. Lists of all-gender toilets can be found on the official websites of the University of Auckland, Massey University, the University of Waikato, and the University of Otago.

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About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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