The University of Limerick has approved the opening of 12 new gender neutral bathrooms. This comes after a number of students requested for more restrooms to be located on both North and South campuses.
The university first introduced gender neutral restrooms in September 2015. Now, they will have a total of 14 restrooms for people of all genders, located on the north and south campus.
UL Student Welfare Officer, Roberta Harrington believes this was a timely approval for the LGBT community in UL, saying that “every student deserves to feel comfortable in their surroundings”.
“Essentially making transgender or non-binary people to go to the toilet in a male/female bathroom takes away that comfort and can have many other effects on the individuals health and well-being,” added Ms. Harrington.
The restrooms will be located on the South Campus in the Library, in Plassey House and in the Kemmy Business School, Computer Science, Engineering Research, Lonsdale, MSSi, PESS and Schrodinger Buildings. Two will be placed in the Main Building. On North Campus, the restrooms will be located in the World Academy and Health Sciences Buildings.
“As of yet, we do not have a date for the opening of the 12 additional bathrooms however when we are made aware of same we will be sure to communicate it to the campus community,” explained Ms Harrington.
The processes was not an easy one. Christian Tan from UL’S LGBTQ+ society spoke about the “tremendous amount of work” that was put in by the society’s members and by the former Welfare Officer Caolan O’Donnell.
“After it gained the favour of the student body it was brought forward to higher authorities in UL where it was met with some difficulty,” he explained, adding that following a successful proposal, “it gained recognition and was put into its final stages”.
“The support and the response we received during the time spurred us even further to make sure that people would feel more accepted for who they are,” continued the university student.
UL has taken a step forwards for the good of their whole student body and Tan believes that, “you can really see the positive reactions we have gotten, not only from the UL body but by all surrounding us”.