Student Assembly Motion – GSU Bathroom Policy

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On Tuesday October 22nd at 5:30pm, NAB LG02, we will have the first Student Assembly of the academic year where students submit and vote on policy and actions for the union.

One of the motions will be a Bathroom Policy for gendered toilets in the SU. If passed, we will also put pressure on Goldsmiths to adopt this as a college-wide policy.

GSU Bathroom Policy
Proposed by Joe Killin, Welfare & Diversity Officer 2013/14
Seconded by Howard Littler, Campaigns Officer 2013/14

 Union Notes

  1. In October 2012, GSU opened its Gender Neutral Bathroom on the ground floor of the Students’ Union building.
  2. GSU Student Assembly passed a Safe Space Policy[1]
  3. GSU Student Assembly passed policy to take a stronger stance against transphobia on campus[2].
  4. Union Resolves of GSU’s Stance on Transphobia policy includes the “To construct a comprehensive bathroom policy that ensures harassment of trans* individuals is unacceptable.”
  5. Trans* and gender variant people are far more likely to avoid using bathroom facilities if they feel unsafe. This can result in individuals avoiding using gendered facilities entirely which can lead to serious health complaints[3].

Union Believes

  1. That a Bathroom Policy will add to the aforementioned policies to further the protection of our students and staff in the Students’ Union building.
  2. A Bathroom Policy will further GSU’s dedication to equality and providing a nondiscriminatory space.
  3. Having a Bathroom Policy in place will reassure trans*, gender variant, gender non-conforming and gender non-normative students, staff and guests that their safety, well-being, and health is paramount.
  4. While a handful of Universities in America[4] have bathroom policies stating students and staff may use the gendered bathrooms of the gender the individual identifies with, this policy has not been adopted by any other university in the UK with the exception of King’s College London.[5]
  5. As an organisation, Goldsmiths Students’ Union aims to go above and beyond obligations laid out in the Equalities Act 2010[6] but to champion and lead on progressive social change.

Union Resolves

To adopt the following notes into union policy:

All students, staff and guests have the right to use a gendered bathroom that matches the gender they identify with, should they choose to, free from harassment.

Gender identity is based on self-identification and not defined by biology, genitialia or sexuality.

Self-identification is not based on how “well” someone does or does not pass[7] for the gender they identify as. Access to gendered bathrooms is therefore based solely on how the individual identifies their gender and not on how well someone passes, or how legible they are as gender non-conforming/gender non-normative.

Students and staff whose gender identities do not match their gender assigned at birth should not be pressured into any facility they do not wish to use. This includes being pressured to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender they were assigned at birth, disabled/accessible toilets, or gender neutral bathrooms.

Anyone accused of harassment of students, staff or guests will be conisdered as having breached Goldsmiths Students’ Union’s Safe Space Policy and will be subjected to the same disciplinary procedures.


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2 Responses to Student Assembly Motion – GSU Bathroom Policy

  1. 0olong says:

    Does it follow from this that in every case where toilets are provided, there should be designated Male, Female *and* Gender Neutral ones, or am I reading this wrong?

    • gsuwelfare says:

      Not necessarily. Currently, the SU building has one Gender Neutral bathroom, one women’s bathroom, one accessible/disabled bathroom, and two that defaulted to Men’s bathrooms because they have urinals in them.

      In the near future we’re hoping to have a brand new set of single-stalled Gender Neutral toilets built upstairs near the bar, as well as a new accessible bathroom. All this policy does, really, is say widen the net of protection of our students to say that regardless of what bathrooms we have, or how they’re marked, our students, staff and guests have the right to use the facilities safely and free from harassment.

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