Feb. 17, 2023
Hunter Commons washrooms updated after student consultations
The main floor washroom in the Hunter Student Commons has been recently updated, allowing for more choice for the campus community.
The washroom now includes an opaque glass partition and signage marking a male and female washroom.
The update comes after a group of students from the Faculty of Social Work raised concerns about all the washrooms in the building being gender neutral, including concern for trauma and those who have suffered gender-based violence.
“The university is committed to listening to our community members and continuing the important discussion regarding inclusive spaces on our campuses to meet both the current and future needs of our community,” says Verity Turpin, vice-provost of student experience at the university.
The rest of the washrooms in the Hunter Commons will remain gender neutral.
Inclusivity and accessibility to washrooms has been a focal point for UCalgary’s facilities team, including Stacy Christensen, the university architect.
Christensen says there are over 600 washrooms across campus that require some sort of renovation or work done. In many cases, the work required is to increase the washroom choices available to members of the campus community.
“We want to start to build up choice in all of our buildings,” says Christensen.
Currently, the university is trying to create choices of gendered or gender-neutral options within a building district. This means that both types of washrooms should be available within a set of buildings that are connected through a plus-15 or indoor connector. For example, Mathison Hall has all gender-neutral washrooms, while its adjacent building, Scurfield Hall, has gendered washrooms.
Christensen says this is just a starting point. She says ideally all buildings will have a choice of washrooms, and then eventually the choice will be on all floors.
“We want to create an inventory of choice, so all members of our campus community have close access to a washroom that makes them feel comfortable and safe.”