With the new renovations to the MSA offices earlier this year, there is an addition that students might not have noticed. Just before entering G-Wing there is a large bathroom door, which most students simply walk past. This bathroom is gender neutral.
The bathroom is a large single stall with automatic door buttons with LED lights, tampon and napkin dispensers, mirror and sink, child-changing table, and railings for accessibility.
By incorporating gender-neutral washrooms into the Student Centre, the MSA felt it was something that could benefit all students.
MSA President Kyle Datzkiw says: “With us undertaking our construction to our reception area, it was an excellent opportunity to create washrooms on campus that everyone would feel safe using. To quote our prime minister, it is 2016 after all.”
Datzkiw says that this is a reminder that everyone is always welcome and the MSA wholeheartedly supports people from all walks of life.
Hayley McCombs, from Social Inc. says: “I have heard many students comment that these washrooms are the only ones that they will use, as it is nice to have the privacy of a single-stall rest room. Prior to these washrooms being installed, I had met a handful of trans-identified students who did not feel comfortable using the larger washroom.”
“This is an incredible weight off of student’s shoulders who do not feel comfortable using the larger washrooms, whether said student identifies as trans, gender non-conforming or not,” says McCombs.
Mohawk Student Lorraine Pearson says the addition of a gender-neutral bathroom is an incredible thing that the college did. She says, “All public washrooms should be safe and respectfully available for all gender purposes and should be private.”
Datzkiw says that these washrooms have allowed the college to be proactive instead of reactive. “I think the students at Mohawk College pride themselves on being inclusive, and if we didn’t have the washrooms we still wouldn’t have faced an issue,” says Datzkiw.
The college also has plans to develop more gender-neutral bathrooms throughout the college, as social inclusion is a priority as part of its five-year strategic plan.