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New Gender-Neutral Bathrooms Open at Mile End Library

After being under construction for a number of months, the second floor of the library is now open

It has been long awaited but, after a number of months of construction, the Mile End Library has steadily been gaining new spaces.

In November, a new silent computer studying area, aiding students with an additional 35 spaces, opened with “improved lighting and desktop USB charging facilities.”

Another addition made to the library as part of the 1.5 million project has been the opening of gender-neutral bathrooms on the first floor. Queen Mary Students’ Union led initiative to implement more gender neutral bathrooms. The idea has long been on the agenda for the SU, with discussions over the topic dating back to the 2012/2013 academic year, when QMSU petitioned for our existing gender neutral toilets in the Hub as resulting due to the fact that:

“In the…Queen Mary, University of London Equality Survey 1 it was found that 3.7% of the respondents declared living in a different gender identity that the one they were assigned at birth. Another 4.4% chose the “prefer not to say” option to that question…students commented that one way in which to improve LGBT student experience was to provide “gender free toilet facilities”.

The aim of gender neutral toilets at Queen Mary is to align with the university’s ‘Overall Equality and Diversity Objective’:

“Queen Mary will ensure that all staff and students work and study in an environment free of discrimination, harassment and victimisation, and have access to equal opportunities. QMUL will actively promote equality and diversity”.

As an act borne out of the need to make our study spaces as inclusive and comfortable as possible to all QMUL students, new post graduate learning spaces and learning spaces have also been added.

The library and its staff are “…delighted to be launching a range of new features to improve study space and facilities at the Mile End Library.”

Image: Nayara Fakir

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