On Thursday, it was officially announced that the restrooms on the ground floor of the Erasmus University College (EUC) would be converted into gender-neutral toilets. So what does this actually mean?
At EUC, the signs that label the bathroom doors will be removed and replaced with a new sign that represents all genders. The urinals will also be shut down. The idea is not to create restrooms just for transgender people, but to make a toilet that is all-inclusive for people who may not wish to be placed under the label of woman or man.
To get an idea of what the people at EUC think about the transition to gender-neutral bathrooms, EM paid a visit during the elections of the Board of the College’s student association EUCSA where the official announcement was made.
“I think it’s a great concept. We’re an open-minded university, so if we’re doing a lot for underprivileged children in Rotterdam or for refugees than we should also work to respect the rights of LGBT community. Women may not feel comfortable at first about taking a shit or doing their makeup next to a guy, and a guy may feel the same way about doing their business next to a girl. But the point is that switching to gender-neutral bathrooms represents a mentality change where gender equality can become a common thing. I think that after a while, people will just get used to going to the same bathroom.”
“I don’t think it will change which bathroom I go to since I’m used to going to the same one. I think most people will do the same, but next year, when the new students come, they won’t know the history behind the bathrooms and they will start using whatever bathroom they want. I think it’s a bit unnecessary to take out the urinals, but in general, I think it’s a good initiative and I really don’t mind sharing the bathroom with people that identify with a different gender than I do.”
“These bathrooms are not being put in place just to say ‘hey, we have a bathroom for transgender people.’ What we’re really doing with these bathrooms is signaling to the world that we’re living in the 21st century and we don’t need to put a label on everything. The fact that this is being done at EUC shows how we think about this, and I think the bigger Erasmus University should do the same. With over 20,000 people, the chance that opening gender-neutral bathrooms will be useful to some people is great.”