Every visit to the toilet means being forced to decide between the men’s and women’s. This is causing inconvenience, stress and a feeling of not being safe among TU Delft students and staff, said Student Council member Rutger Blijleven (Oras) last week Wednesday at the monthly consultation meeting with Vice Rector Magnificus Rob Mudde.
Blijleven had heard about this from TrueU, the LGTB network for TU Delft employees, and Outsite, the LGTB+ youth association. “They experience this themselves and emphasise the great need for gender neutral toilets.”
He argues that TU Delft states its intention to be as inclusive as possible in its Code of Conduct (in Dutch). “Gender neutral toilets are part of inclusivity. Furthermore, other universities and universities of applied sciences have already installed them so what will TU Delft do?”
Looking into options
Mudde can well understand that the lack of gender neutral toilets is a problem for part of the TU Delft population. “The first thing I think of is that some of the men’s toilets with the urinals need to be done away with.” He does not believe that turning the women’s toilets into gender neutral toilets is an option. “There are already fewer of them, even if it would be easier in terms of design.”
In response to the question of whether TU Delft intends to look into the option of converting the existing toilets, Mudde answers in the affirmative. “I will put the case to Campus Real Estate (CRE) and Facility Management (FM). They can identify the toilets that are easily accessible and that can be modified, and they can give a financial assessment.”
While the first gender neutral toilet on campus will have to wait, Mudde promises to have gender neutral toilets included as matter of course in any future plans for new builds. An update will follow after the next meeting.