Gender neutral bathrooms wheeled out as bike scheme waits for funding

An intercampus bike scheme was just one proposal suggested by Eimear Maguire last year

Each building in DCU will contain one gender neutral bathroom as part of an initiative suggested last year, according to LGBT chair, Mel Kavanagh. This will stretch across all DCU campuses. 

In a mandate proposed and accepted by the Class Rep Council, it was initially suggested that the signs on the toilets would be replaced, as this would be most effective.

In his monthly updates Vice President for Welfare and Equality, Cody Byrne, said that DCU and the Estates Office are on board with the idea and although there were issues concerning altering of campus facilities, they will be installed soon.

Kavanagh said that for most students, the introduction of a gender neutral bathroom won’t have much of an effect but it will be an important difference for transgender and non-binary students.

“Using gendered facilities can be an anxious experience for someone who’s transgender so having the option there is a fantastic step forward,” she said.

She also explained the important message DCU are sending to the public with this new social development.

“Not only would these bathrooms make trans and non-binary students feel safer but DCU also sends a welcoming message that it cares about all students.”

Open badge and bike scheme

Another SU proposal which will be running soon is the ‘open badge scheme’, an awards system for heavy involvement in clubs or societies.

Vice President for Engagement & Development, Eimear Maguire has said the design is nearly finished and will be running by the end of term.

Mark Glynn, Head of the Teaching Enhancement Unit worked alongside Maguire to bring the system into its final stages.

As well as committing to finalise work on the system, Maguire had planned to create a bike scheme between DCU and the St. Patrick’s College campus.

“It’s proving harder than we anticipated to find funding. We are looking to get sponsorship but at the moment we haven’t got the funding,” she said.

Alternative methods are being used to drive funds for the scheme.

“We’re currently doing a thing where we sell bags of condoms for €30 and all profits made will go towards funding for the bike scheme,” Maguire said.

Maguire hopes that if she doesn’t see a bike scheme put in place in her term that her successor will be granted funding next year.

Liam Ashton

Image Credit: DCU