• A Dublin uni just installed over 50 gender neutral bathrooms (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
"It was simply going to make people in our community feel comfortable in that space and sending out a message that we’re aware of your needs.”
By
Michaela Morgan

5 Jun 2017 - 4:12 PM  UPDATED 5 Jun 2017 - 4:12 PM

The Dublin City University (DCU) has unveiled 54 gender-neutral bathrooms across 3 campuses, the Irish Times reports.

The Universal Access Bathrooms were installed as a result of a push from the student union to foster greater inclusiveness across the university.

“As mandated by Class Rep Council in the 2015/16 Academic Term to have gender neutral bathrooms implemented on all campuses, this has been a success!” the DCU Student Union wrote on Facebook.

“What we're calling 'Universal Access Bathrooms', all of our disability access bathrooms* have been upgraded to Universal Access Bathrooms that anyone, including our trans* population, can avail of! Free to any gender or minority!"

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The DCU welfare and equality officer Cody Byrne told the Irish Times that no ground floor disability access bathrooms or any bathroom that had harnesses attached to them had been modified.

“We left them untouched so that the priority was explicitly given to students with disabilities,” said Byrne.

“A lot of other colleges in the country have it already done so we sort of just followed their model of modifying the disability access bathrooms which are frequent amongst all the buildings on campus.

“We decided to change the signage on them rather than remodelling all the bathrooms entirely. It was just a bit more cost efficient.”

Byrne said future construction developments will take gender neutral bathrooms into account.  

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"We believe this particular apology and exoneration is an important step forward – it’s an important reckoning with our past.”

“For example, at the Glasnevin campus there will be a three-storey hub being completed in February 2018 so they will also have gender neutral bathrooms.”

DCU follows in the footsteps of the Waterford Institute of Technology—a university south of Dublin that has installed 51 gender neutral bathrooms.

Michael Murphy, WIT Student Union welfare officer said: “What we found out after we did a bit of research on it, was that the people who want or need to use gender neutral bathrooms had already been using the disabled bathrooms.

“So it was never going to increase traffic to the disability access bathrooms, it was simply going to make people in our community feel comfortable in that space and sending out a message that we’re aware of your needs.”