Trevelyan students campaign for gender-neutral toilets

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A group of Trevelyan College students are campaigning in the hope of convincing their JCR to install gender-neutral toilets

It is believed that the installation of the toilets will help to create a “more inclusive environment, in which every student can feel comfortable.”

Although the idea was initially dismissed by the college, there is a genuine belief that a motion to have the toilets installed will be passed at the next JCR meeting.

“I was surprised that the college officers were so dismissive of the idea when we proposed it to them,” said Sulia Celebi, one of the five-strong group of campaigners.

“I don’t think they disagreed with it on ideological grounds, it’s just that practically speaking, the costs of installing the toilets are an issue.”

However, since the idea was originally proposed, Trevelyan’s dining hall has been extended, potentially making room for the toilets.

Furthermore, a Facebook page inviting people to back the campaign has attracted over 70 likes, having been launched earlier this year.

According to Sulia, the installation of the toilets would help to make Durham more “progressive,” and “break down gender stereotypes” at the University.

“People seem to have this very black and white view of gender, when in reality it’s a much broader spectrum than that.

“That’s why this is an educative process, as well as a practical one.”

Will Emery, a Trevelyan student who is involved in the campaign, said the installation of the toilets could have a “massive” impact on trans* students.

“We believe that people have the right to feel comfortable whenever they go to the toilet.

“It’s something that we all take for granted, but trans* people don’t have that sort of comfort.”

When asked about the campaign, Professor Graham Towl, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Warden, said:

“The University respects and adapts to the needs of its students and staff, and we are committed to creating and maintaining an environment that is inclusive and accessible.

“We welcome the discussion and debate about gender-neutral toilets and we have an open mind.”


3 thoughts on “Trevelyan students campaign for gender-neutral toilets

  • The idea was never really dismissed by ‘student officers’. Other members of the JCR meeting raised concerns over whether we had the power to change the functions/signs on the doors of college rooms as this is something that is usually in the hands of ‘estates & buildings’ or college in the wider sense rather than the junior common room.

    This point of info was however coupled with encouragement for the campaigners to continue to raise awareness of the issue and to consider putting forward a motion for the JCR to agree with the idea in principle, allowing the campaigners to put greater pressure on those with the power to make such changes.

  • I am quoted saying: “I was surprised that they were so dismissive of the idea when we proposed it to them” however this refers to the COLLEGE officers NOT the STUDENT officers. The JCR has been very supportive of the campaign and I would not want anyone to think otherwise. In addition the Dining Hall was not extended but the Dowrick Suite was, which is where there is potential for gender neutral toilets. Hopefully this will be edited soon.

  • But the toilets and shower blocks on every single landing are already unisex. Why spend this much money on a superfluous fixture when there’s STILL no CCTV watching the bikes?


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