Starting this Fall, Saint Mary’s University has implemented “Gender-Neutral Washroom” or “Washrooms For Everyone” — a much appreciated initiative designed for individuals that identify with any gender. Originally proposed by Collette Robert, former VP Equity & Wellness, this initiative was finally put in effect this year in collaboration with Lawson Morassutti, current VP Equity & Wellness and Caden Hebb, a student at large. When asked about the goal behind such a big step, Lawson said “Asking our trans-students to use binary washroom systems place them in a position of vulnerability and exposes them to certain risks. The goal of the gender-neutral washrooms was to provide a space on campus that our students can feel safe [in]. We knew that it was time to make a change.”
Although the trio had prepared themselves for any possible backlash concerning these changes, since the implementation of these washrooms, the responses from the students and staff have been astoundingly positive. Reportedly, people are immensely supportive over this step and have also been very welcoming towards sharing this common space with everyone regardless of their gender identity. This shake-up has not only been applauded by the Saint Mary’s University community but other universities’ members across Nova Scotia have contacted Lawson to discuss this successful initiative. In light of this beautiful transition and hard work of these people, it seems that SMUSA is more than ready and proud to lead the way to equality.
Nazia Sazneen, News Editor