Students at the University of Prince Edward Island want gender-neutral washrooms on campus.
The UPEI Student Union Council has now adopted external policy on the matter.
Approved at the UPEISU Council’s Jan. 26 meeting, the policy calls on the university to provide at least one gender-neutral washroom in each university building.
Further, the policy statement aims to ensure that construction of future university buildings take into account the need for gender-neutral washroom facilities.
“Ensuring students do not face harassment, alienation, or anxiety on university property is extremely important to the UPEISU,” said president Anastasia Smallwood. “Council passing this policy ensures it is a priority for the student union and advocating for the availability of these washrooms is something we will continue working on.”
Students who may be transgender, or those who may not identify with a certain gender, can face undue anxiety or outright harassment when attempting to use washrooms which are gender specific, the students’ group said.
According to a summer 2013 proposal to the UPEI Space Management Committee, “For a number of people… accessing public washroom becomes an anxiety-provoking and potentially dangerous activity.”
“Our next steps will be to engage with university administration on the issue, and it is our hope that we can see improvements as quickly as possible,” said Smallwood.