Winter 2016 Newsletter
Gender Neutral Facilities Advisory Committee to Propose Guidelines for Western
Western's commitment to building welcoming and inclusive learning and working environments for our students, faculty, staff and visitors includes a commitment to supporting members of our community who are transgender or gender non-conforming. In our society, transgender and gender non-conforming people often experience harassment when using gender-specific facilities. While everyone at Western has the right to access gender-segregated facilities according to their gender identity, gender neutral facilities can be valuable in providing safe places to use the restroom or locker room without fear of such harassment. They are also useful for people with disabilities who have an attendant of a different gender, and parents and caregivers who wish to accompany their children into the restroom or locker room.
Recognizing the importance of providing facilities that are safe, accessible and reasonably convenient for people of all gender identities, the President and Vice Presidents have established an Ad Hoc Gender Neutral Facilities Guidelines Advisory Committee. The Committee is tasked with studying best practices at other universities related to gender neutral facilities, broadly soliciting input from the university community, and developing recommended guidelines for gender neutral facilities at Western for consideration by the President and Vice Presidents. This Committee will build on work regarding gender neutral facilities already undertaken by the Queer Resource Center, the Associated Students, the Equal Opportunity Office, and Facilities Development. The Committee is co-chaired by Sue Guenter-Schlesinger, Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity & Employment Diversity and Title IX/ADA Coordinator, and Rick Benner, Director of Facilities Development & Capital Budget and University Architect, and includes student, faculty and staff representatives.
A map of current gender neutral restrooms on campus is available online.