Inclusive toilet break
Bigger stickers and an online list: All-gender toilets now easier to find
People should be better able to find all-gender toilets at UU thanks to bigger stickers on the doors showing male, female and all-gender pictograms. All-gender toilets featuring a urinal will receive an additional sticker. Some users said they felt uncomfortable upon unexpectedly finding someone else using a urinal.
The web page about the university's buildings now specifies where all-gender toilets can be found. If a certain building doesn’t have one, the nearest all-gender toilet is indicated.
The Real Estate & Campus office surveyed some three hundred students and staff members and found out that some of them don’t know where the all-gender toilets are. Those who want to use that type of toilet said they sometimes spent a long time searching for them, which means they had to walk and walk. In addition, not all university buildings have an all-gender toilet, which can be confusing.
According to Andrea Simmelink, Communications Officer at Corporate Real Estate & Campus, it would be hard to arrange signposts to indicate the route to the nearest all-gender, male or female toilet.
“We're still in the process of adding all-gender to some buildings, which means that those signposts would have to be adjusted time after time. With over seventy buildings, it would be practically impossible to keep it all up-to-date. That's why we have chosen to provide an online overview on the page about the buildings on UU's website,” Simmelink explains.
An all-gender toilet for each building
Part of the respondents in the Real Estate & Campus survey thinks there are too few all-gender toilets in the university as a whole. In 2020, the Facility Service Centre already advised the Executive Board to make sure there is at least one all-gender toilet in each building — a goal the university is still aiming to achieve. All-gender toilets are to be a standard feature when renovating buildings or building new ones.
Over two years later, there are thirteen of these toilets in the seventy-odd university buildings. The progress is slow, mainly due to the involvement of several parties and the fact that stocktaking is time consuming. “This is a long road,” says Simmelink. The Real Estate & Campus office has now completed an inventory of the buildings located in the city center and at University College Utrecht (UCU). It is not yet clear where and when the new all-gender toilets are going to be added.