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MacEwan University Introduces All Gender Washrooms

Date

01/19/2016
MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta announces all new signage that will appear at the entrances of several single-occupant washrooms across all of MacEwan University’s campuses. The signs will indicate that the private, single-occupant washrooms will be accessible to all genders. The washrooms may be used by anyone: gender variant individuals (including transgender or two-spirited individuals), people with disabilities who have a personal care attendant, and people with chronic illness.


The Need for Change
Transgender and gender variant individuals often experience open or covert emotional abuse and physical harassment when using gender-segregated washrooms. All-gender washrooms are important in contributing to their sense of safety, well-being, and security when exercising their basic right to use a washroom.

The change comes at the request of the Students’ Association of MacEwan University (SAMU). "It's a great move for students at MacEwan University," said Cameron McCoy, SAMU president. "All gender washrooms contribute to making our campuses safer, more inclusive and welcoming for everybody."
“University is a time of growth, learning, discovery and finding one's way in the world. We are happy to be part of that process,” said Cathryn Heslep, vice-president, Student Services for the university. “We are committed to supporting various diversity initiatives for students, faculty and staff, including all gender washrooms.”

In preparation for the change, the university consulted with Dr. Kris Wells, director of Program Services with the Institute of Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta, and Marni Panas, an engagement and patient experience professional who is a member of the transgender community. 

To learn about this initiative, please visit the official announcement

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