Controversial ‘Toilets for All’ UGM motion passed

The controversial Toilets for All motion is one of five UGM motions to be successfully passed this week.

The Toilets for All motion, which calls for gender neutral toilets to be available for students who don’t identify specifically as male of female, was passed with a fifty vote margin today. The motion proved controversial after students suggested that gender neutral toilets would not be an effective use of union funds, arguing that only a small number of students would make use of them. The motion, which was championed by Peter Warner-Medley, has eventually been passed with 183 for and 133 against.

The other four motions have all been passed by much larger margins this week. The ratification of Union minutes was passed easily, as was a motion calling for greater support for students with dyslexia and other learning difficulties.

Also passed were motions calling for University recognition of students preferred names and a motion calling for the term “gender” to be used rather than “sex” in any Union data capture. These motions also passed with considerable majorities.

These policies can be read in full at http://www.yusu.org/union/policy/

81 comments

  1. Most ridiculous UGM ever?

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  2. If one is transgender, I wouldn’t imagine it seems so ridiculous. I’d put this in the ‘small victories’ category.

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  3. 30 May ’09 at 3:12 am

    Self-righteous Postgraduate

    A ‘small victory’ that will probably help to make the lives of some students feel much easier, and thus, a good victory no matter how ‘small’ some may perceive it.

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  4. I think it’s brilliant that we have such a substantial and active LGBT presence at the university, shows that York is capable of progressive and inclusive thinking. It would have been so shameful if the trans community on campus had requested GNTs and had been knocked back. Everyone involved must be very pleased and quite right too.

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  5. I beleive this is ridiculous if it requires money. It’s a waste of funds, especially during a time in which the university is trying to make itself financially secure for the recession. It was only a couple of weeks ago they were trying to make college tutors work for half as much as their current wages.

    Can anyone use these new toilets? I don’t quite understand the logistics of how it will work. Can currently existing toilets not be redesignated?

    I have no problems with the idea in general of supporting a minority with special needs. I just have big problems with wasting money and then charging more and more for education or food etc.

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  6. “I beleive this is ridiculous if it requires money.”

    Well, it doesn’t. Read the motion!

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  7. 1 Jun ’09 at 5:55 pm

    Simon Whitten

    “Can anyone use these new toilets?”

    yes

    “Can currently existing toilets not be redesignated?”

    yes, that’s the idea.

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  8. Will current ‘redesignated’ toilets be safe?

    How is privacy going to be ensured for those women who’d prefer not to have men hanging around in their toilets? The worry is with ‘redesignated’ toilets without a seperate female -only facility is that a pervert could legitimately enter the womens’ toilets.

    Would women be comfortable with men in their toilets? Perhaps a survey needs to be carried out before ‘redesignation’ rather than a seperate gender-neutral cubicle (disabled toilet).

    How would this work in somewhere like vanbrugh where there are only one set of toilets for each sex in the dining room area?

    I’m not having a go or being a bigot, just asking how it’d work. I hope someone can clear this point up.

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  9. I believe the motion only applies if there are two sets of women’s toilets available.

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  10. “Perhaps a survey needs to be carried out before ‘redesignation’ rather than a seperate gender-neutral cubicle (disabled toilet)”

    Um….a survey was just carried out…..335 respondents, the majority said it was ok…

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  11. It’s not even just a survey: it’s active policy and the Union is mandated to follow it up.

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  12. 2 Jun ’09 at 6:57 am

    Simon Whitten

    “How is privacy going to be ensured for those women who’d prefer not to have men hanging around in their toilets?”

    They can use the womens toilet. . .

    “The worry is with ‘redesignated’ toilets without a seperate female -only facility is that a pervert could legitimately enter the womens’ toilets.”

    No, they could legitimatly enter the neutral toilet. Women could stick to the womens’ toilet if they felt threatened.

    “Would women be comfortable with men in their toilets?”

    What part of this don’t you get? There will be male toilets, female toilets and neutral toilets.

    This point is made all the more silly by the fact that that’s exactly the current situation, transgender students who are physically male CAN enter the female toilets. The reulting problems are a principle motivation behind the GNT option.

    “How would this work in somewhere like vanbrugh where there are only one set of toilets for each sex in the dining room area?”

    Presumably they would not be redesignated.

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  13. 2 Jun ’09 at 10:33 am

    For crying out loud

    What a complete and utter farce. This is definitely the most rediculous UGM motion I have ever heard of, even compared to the Matt Burton Dance Hall.

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  14. The UGM wasn’t a survey it was a poll – quantitive data only. A survey is qualitative and allows people to raise concerns while still broadly supporting a proposal. A simple
    ‘yes or no’ straw poll is different to a multi-question survey. While supporting the idea of GNTs, there are several ways of going about it, from de-gendering all toilets, to using the disabled as the GN toilet, to building completely new ones, hiring portable ones, redesignating one cubicle within an existing gendered facility, making the ladies unisex…. many different solutions. A yes/no vote doesn’t make this (sensitive) decision. It seems fair to ask the potential users of the new facility how they’d like it to see it put into place.

    If this will only come into force where there are enough toilets for male and female only facilities plus the GNT, there’s not an issue. But the motion didn’t make this clear. If Chris and Simon are correct then consider my point about men going into the ladies null and void. But if we were to follow the manchester uni system of de-gendering ALL toilets, my point stands.

    Hopefully YUSU will clarify this is due course.

    And ‘for crying out loud’, farce or no farce, the motion’s gone through and the focus now should be on making sure its put into place properly and to the disadvantage of nobody.

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  15. 2 Jun ’09 at 2:54 pm

    A. Catsambas

    “Um….a survey was just carried out…..335 respondents, the majority said it was ok…”

    This mere quote demonstrates how simple minded some people, even in top universities, actually are.
    a) A survey is conducted on a random sample of the population. People who voted on this issue were anything but random. They represent people who bothered looking into the motions, reading debates and voting. By no means do they represent the majority of the students.
    b) A. Politician has a point about the qualitative vs quantitative survey, so I will not expand.
    c) Even if the sample were random, its size is way too small. Just 335 persons voted… I find it appalling that motions can pass when such a small percentage of the population voted. This is not good democracy. In my opinion, regardless of what the majority of those who voted decided, a motion should not be carried if not enough votes have been cast in total. Most people with whom I discussed this motion said they disagreed with it (most of them laughed, thinking I was joking initially), yet I highly doubt whether they actually did vote.

    A.

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  16. “I highly doubt whether they actually did vote”

    It’s their problem if they didn’t vote isn’t it?

    “a motion should not be carried if not enough votes have been cast in total”

    It’s called ‘quoracy’ and this motion has exceeded it.

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  17. You know, I’m getting a bit bored of this, every time a controversial issue comes up, it seems that the same old people moan about the ‘system’ as if its in some way designed to work against them and impossible to change.

    I don’t want to sound like Jason Rose but… A. Catsambas, A. Politician et al. : ANYONE can submit a motion to UGM, if you want a survey, write the motion and make it happen, if you think quoracy is too set too low, write a motion and get it changed. If you don’t want to do that, then why not speak at UGM, the motions are available in advance, come and make a speech and see what response you get.

    Why not stop whinging and actually do something, it only takes about 5 minutes!

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  18. “It’s called ‘quoracy’ and this motion has exceeded it.”

    Ah, but is quoracy at an appropriate level? Enough votes may have been cast according to the letter of the rules, but is it appropriate to put into effect a motion that could potentially affect the lives of the entire 10,000 + student population because 183 students voted in favour of that motion?

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  19. * Ah, but is quoracy at an appropriate level?

    An age old question. There’s a careful balance between having quoracy set at a truly representative level, and being quorate at a more realistic level bearing in mind the typical level of turnout in this kind of thing

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  20. Remember that Council minutes are very rarely ratified at UGMs because of the quoracy needed and that until recently most UGMs fell solely due to quoracy. We have to keep quoracy as high as we can realistically keep it but as soon as good motions are failing solely on the grounds of quoracy there is a problem.

    And, realistically, it’s the job of people opposing to encourage people to vote against. Quoracy doesn’t make a difference, in the end, as it’s still the yes/no vote that matters and if all of the people that you talk to oppose it, get them to vote.

    There’s no way that 335 should be below quoracy; very few motions get higher than that. We could set it at 500+ and, of course, only things like the NUS, major constitutional changes and no-confidences would ever get passed. But at the same time it would be nice to be able to get some minor constitution points changed without having to engage the whole of campus.

    And also you have to remember, Aris, that whilst votes may not represent the majority of campus… the majority of campus doesn’t care and would have abstained anyway. I’m not arguing either way but I’m just pointing out reasons for the system that we have.

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  21. 2 Jun ’09 at 5:04 pm

    Tom Langrish

    This post is made from memory, so sorry if some of the figures are wrong.

    I’m about 75% sure that some issues to do with quorum are actually detailed in the Higher Education Act (1994) which pretty much governs student unions. e.g. I think that the maximum quoracy for a referendum on an external affiliation is set at 5% of the membership in the act (which means our current referendum quoracy of 7% is, in some cases, too high).

    So I don’t think our quoracy level can legally be much higher than it currently is.

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  22. 2 Jun ’09 at 5:09 pm

    Tom Langrish

    Another quick point to A.Politician:

    I don’t think Manchester Uni de-gendered all toilets, in fact I don’t think any of the University’s toilets were. When I read it in the Manchester local paper (I’m from Manchester), I’m pretty sure that only the toilets in the basement of the SU building were de-gendered.

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  23. 2 Jun ’09 at 5:25 pm

    A. Catsambas

    Well, if I remember correctly, there were more than 600 people (or was it about 600 on each side?) who voted on the welfare no-confidence motion last year. This shows that it is possible to get such numbers, hence that should be our quoracy (which according to my browser is not an actual word!).

    “It’s their problem if they didn’t vote isn’t it?”
    This is arguable. In my opinion, yes. But this union (and generally the ‘system’) is not shaped in my ideal way. I thought the point in a democracy is that all should be adequately represented, regardless of their education, class, status or degree of involvement into politics. In this case, there is clear discrimination in favour of those who are interested in university politics (let us not forget that many people do not regard YUSU as important, and thus abstain, even though it affects them), and it can even be claimed (as George P. did) that this system slightly favours humanity students, who one can argue have more free time (I am not supporting this theory, so let it please not turn into an irrelevant debate).
    In other words, no, it is not their problem, not by the principles on which democracy is built.
    A.

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  24. 2 Jun ’09 at 5:31 pm

    A. Catsambas

    300 students out of 10000 is too high?! 3%?
    And Jason, your point is a complete fallacy. “That’s how many we can get, so that’s our quoracy level”. The number of students we can get to vote should have nothing to do with the quoracy. Quoracy ought to be determined solely by judging how many should vote, in order to be able to say that a motion represents most students. For example, if 30% of students vote on an issue, it is large enough a sample to claim that in all likelihood, had the remaining 70% voted, the outcome would have been the same. Surely, you don’t believe that the same holds for a sample of 3%? If you do, I would suggest you drop physics, or any mathematical discipline!
    A.

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  25. Ari, as it has been argued before, if someone does not like the quoracy level, they can always propose a motion to change it. Before any such action is to be considered though, it may be useful to check out what’s the usual turnout: http://www.yusu.org/union/policy/

    “there is clear discrimination in favour of those who are interested in university politics”

    This is an illogical statement and I am sure you understand it. It is the equivalent of claiming that national elections actively discriminate against the apathetic. I think it is irrational to argue that people are being discriminated against when it is them who do not care in the first place. (That said, I strongly believe that students need to be more involved in the democratic process, and I agree that we should be finding ways to increase participation)

    Finally, you have twisted my argument. What I’ve actually said back then is that YUSU’s election process disadvantages BEng and BSc candidates who, at that particular period in time, have considerably more work to do (final dissertation deadline etc.) than humanities students. This has nothing to do with voting in a UGM.

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  26. 2 Jun ’09 at 6:13 pm

    Tom Langrish

    National opinion polls survey roughly 0.002% of the UK population and although they are not always accurate, are treated with a fair degree of respect and have a reasonably good margin of error. So what’s wrong with having a quoracy level of around 3%? (I know this is a v.basic argument and anyone with an ounce of statistical knowledge is probably laughing at me)

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  27. 2 Jun ’09 at 6:23 pm

    Simon Whitten

    “Well, if I remember correctly, there were more than 600 people (or was it about 600 on each side?) who voted on the welfare no-confidence motion last year. This shows that it is possible to get such numbers, hence that should be our quoracy (which according to my browser is not an actual word!).”

    What’s your actually justification for this declaration? Just because one motion gets 1000+ votes that’s no reason to arbitrarily set to quaracy to that level.

    The fact of the matter is the quaracy self-regulates to the correct figure, as if most people feel it’s too low, they’ll vote to change it.

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  28. How many people voted you in, A.Catsambas? As many as you upset in the other Comments thread before the UGM? I’m guessing not!

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  29. In fairness, more than those who voted in favour of the motion – not that this is somehow proving anything.

    I’m sorry if you were offended by Aris’ views – I am sure that he never intended to upset. But in truth he has never targeted anyone, he was speaking on a personal capacity and he has already apologised for any offense caused. Agree or disagree with him, he is entitled to his own opinions.

    Personally, I am far more concerned by the kind of comments who targeted transgender students, not by the people who objected the motion for legitimate reasons (be them right or wrong).

    That said, I think that a motion intended to “raise trans visibility” would be pretty pointless if people are not prepared to even debate about it. So far I haven’t seen an attempt to properly educate people about transgender issues – all I’ve seen is people (from either side) automatically jumping to conclusions.

    I think it really makes no sense to attack people like Aris on the grounds of their opinion on abstruse subjects that are simply never discussed in their nations. A lot of this would have been made redundant if students were informed on those issues before they were asked to vote on them.

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  30. Great to see some good discussion going on, until the inevitable idiot pops up out of the blue:

    “How many people voted you in, A.Catsambas? As many as you upset in the other Comments thread before the UGM? I’m guessing not!”

    Your comment just upset me, ‘Jane’. Go away with your immature, one upmanship posts and try to construct some sort of argument. If you cant, then dont throw in your two-pennies worth. Aris certainly can; he always has that conciliatory factor. You on the other hand…

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  31. You’re obviously right, Aris, on some points. For instance with a very small – and you can’t get much smaller – majority in the no-confidence last year and the LGBT election this year, another 10 students voting out of the remaining 9500+ students could have swung the vote. However, even in a smaller sample such as this – and you as a “scientist” should understand correlation – a large majority such as that seen in this UGM is generally fairly reliable. Granted it could be overturned but since there is, as I point out again, no cost or down side to the motion it seems fair to just not complain about it? And, as pointed out by other people, it’s fairly typical of quoracy nationwide and more reliable than many polls.

    Also, it’s in the past… so focus should be on implimentation now. Email [email protected] if you have any constructive comments on the UGM – I’m sure they won’t mind!

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  32. “you as a “scientist” should understand correlation – a large majority such as that seen in this UGM is generally fairly reliable”

    and you as an “astrophysicist” should understand statistics – http://xkcd.com/552/

    ;p

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  33. 3 Jun ’09 at 8:21 am

    Simon Whitten

    Actually a large majority in a random sample does imply the population is most likely also “for”.

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  34. 3 Jun ’09 at 9:12 am

    A. Catsambas

    “What’s your actually justification for this declaration? Just because one motion gets 1000+ votes that’s no reason to arbitrarily set to quaracy to that level.”
    The point is that such a rate can be achieved, thus it should be considered. If I suggested a quoracy of 4000 students, no motion would ever pass. If the level was high though, whoever suggested a motion would have to campaign for it – this would reduce apathy amongst students.
    Jane, your comment is unnecessary. I have apologised for offense caused, by explaining that I never targeted anyone, except I only attacked an idea. Now, if you can point out which part of what I said was offensive, please do so. The fact is, if people got offended by what I said, the fault lies in them, not me, as I repeatedly stated that I have no intention to hurt anyone, and was discussing the motion and nothing more. If anyone felt offended, they are welcome to come and discuss it with me – it is unfair to criticise anonymously.
    A.

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  35. “Actually a large majority in a random sample does imply the population is most likely also “for”.”

    Simon, this is competely unquantified speculation. You are in no better place to assert such a thing as I am to assert the opposite argument. However, comparing the political makeup of campus to the rest of the country is just wrong. It is entirely different as will be shown in these elections in the way that campus votes.

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  36. I’m glad you picked that comic, George. Obviously as nerds we have all read it – and therefore all know what the words say if you hold your mouse over the picture (explained for people who aren’t nerds) and that pretty much backs up my point.

    Indeed the majority in the small sample doesn’t prove that the full population support it but because it was a large majority, the link is quite strong. Generally polls of this proportion are accurate unless there is a reason otherwise – i.e. there is a very small majority or (as happened in the 1992 UK exit polls) people are embarassed to say how they voted. As there is a decent majority, and as the vote was anonymous, I would suggest that it’s a clear indication. As I said before, though, it’s not an important point any more since it passed!

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  37. Jason, I agree with what you are saying – this is not an important point. On the other hand, what with me being annoyingly argumentative and all, I have to point out that a 50-student majority is by no means a large majority.

    Ari, you said: “the point is that such a rate can be achieved, thus it should be considered.”

    Motivation aside, as you can see for yourself this has been achieved very very infrequently. This means that, if this proposal was ever carried through, then for most of the time the union would be effectively unable to introduce new policy.

    Most of our active policy wouldn’t have stood a chance – there is no way that such a number could be reached regularly, unless students were expected to vote on highly controversial motions that would affect many if not most students in this university. ‘Clearing up the constitution’ or ‘reforming the communications committee’ would be pretty much impossible.

    As Simon said, the quoracy level self-regulates to an appropriate figure. Besides, I’m sure there are other ways to increase participation, that do not expect YUSU to castrate itself.

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  38. 3 Jun ’09 at 1:22 pm

    A. Catsambas

    I disagree George. At the moment, whoever proposes a controversial motion has every motivation to avoid publicising it – as long as they can get enough friends or affiliated societies to vote, their motion will meet the low quoracy level and pass.
    To improve student participation, we need more publicity, and to do that, we need to motivate motion proposers to advertise their motions.
    A.

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  39. 3 Jun ’09 at 3:26 pm

    Simon Whitten

    “Simon, this is competely unquantified speculation.”

    No, it’s statistics.

    A large majoirty in a random sample drawn from a population (the student body) does imply that population is more likely to be favourable to that position.

    Of course in reality UGM votes aren’t a random sample (just a sample of the people who give a cr*p either way).

    I’m not sure where you got the idea I was talking about national opinion from.

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  40. >> At the moment, whoever proposes a controversial motion has every motivation to avoid publicising it – as long as they can get enough friends or affiliated societies to vote, their motion will meet the low quoracy level and pass.

    However, UGMs are open to all to attend, and are covered well by all aspects of the media – not just us, but The Yorker and Vision too. I think there’s a strong correlation (based on conjecture!) between people who read campus media and those who vote, so I think it’s quite hard to “slip quietly under the radar”

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  41. I’m afraid you’re wrong, Aris. “Whoever proposes a controversial motion has every motivation to avoid publicising it” – simply untrue. The most political on both ends of the spectrum will see all UGMs far enough in advance to rally support for the opposite side. Likewise the quoracy level is actually quite high and publicising is necessary. Granted that you don’t have to mobilise the whole of campus for it but when we want to change the constitution in minor ways, or re-submit an old policy on (for example) disabilities, we shouldn’t have to get a thousand people voting.

    All media outlets (except YSTV? Correct me) cover UGMs and they are publicised enough for people to see. Many people don’t care but those who do see what’s going on – and an increase in turnout doesn’t seem to be related to the amount of campaigning. Few campaigned either way about GFH but there was so much hype surrounding it that the turnout was huge. And not every motion is controversial – so not every motion will be quorate to 500+ people.

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  42. 3 Jun ’09 at 5:01 pm

    Simon Whitten

    The simple fact of the matter is that quaracy cannot be set higher than is necessary to ratify routine administrative motions. It’s still rare for the Council minutes to be ratified and, lets face facts, you are not going to mobilise the masses over technical reforms to the Rules and Revisions committee.

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  43. 3 Jun ’09 at 5:41 pm

    Tom Langrish

    ”lets face facts, you are not going to mobilise the masses over technical reforms to the Rules and Revisions committee.”

    One can only dream….

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  44. 3 Jun ’09 at 6:04 pm

    A. Catsambas

    “The most political on both ends of the spectrum will see all UGMs far enough in advance to rally support for the opposite side.”
    This is not true – I disagreed with the motions that passed now, this doesn’t mean I will launch a campaign against it. I would prefer however that more people knew about it (for this particular one, I suspect that many people would actually vote against or at least abstain).

    ”lets face facts, you are not going to mobilise the masses over technical reforms to the Rules and Revisions committee.”
    Fair enough, but maybe we could have different rules for such motions…
    A.

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  45. 3 Jun ’09 at 8:18 pm

    Tom Langrish

    Hmm different quoracy level for changing the rules? Well currently they are harder to pass as they need 2/3 at a UGM. You aren’t proposing that it be easier to change the YUSU constitution than it is to ask, where possible, for YUSU to provide GN toilets?

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  46. You can’t complain that you would prefer that more people knew about it if you didn’t launch your own campaign. There’s a difference between wishing more people knew about it and complaining that someone should have talked about it more – LGBT have held many educational talks, etc., and if you don’t go to them you can’t complain that they haven’t held them. I haven’t been to all LGBT events but the ones that I have been to have been extremely informative and I would recommend that people who don’t understand the issues at hand comprehensively would go to LGBT events where possible, as I try to do :)

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  47. It’s an interesting observation that there are at least twice as many L and G people (let alone LGBT) at the uni than voted in total. I must wonder whether there’s a “circle of influence” thing happening – the trans people who’d benefit enlist their lgbt friends to vote. I have a suspicion that upscaling this poll would yield some very different results.

    I personally voted against: as a guy, I don’t like the idea of having to share my toilet with vaginas; whipping it out in a room full of women feels morally wrong, even if you’re in a cubicle! A “gender neutral” toilet definitely ISN’T a “sex neutral” toilet, be it noun OR verb.

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  48. I think the discussion about quoracy is irrelevant – the problem is not that people don’t vote its that nobody knows this stuff is happening. And yes, they should check, but I think YUSU should do a better job of publicising this stuff! For example – i wouldn’t even really know where to check and I’ve been here for 3 years! The majority of students in this uni are getting on with other stuff, be it work, society stuff or random drunkeness – if you want to improve quoracy and get people interested in this stuff you need to get their attention and tell them its happening!
    On the GNT’s – aren’t disabled toilets gender neutral anyway? (i know only disabled people are actually meant to use them but loads of people do who aren’t disabled anyway) And they are a single cubicle so no perverts or spying or whatever you’re worried about! I’ve been to places where they have a female toilet and then another gender neutral toilet – very useful for reducing cues for the ladies!!! I reckon that if a toilet is a single cubicle (like disabled loo’s), as long as they are well maintained it doesn’t really matter what gender they are cos only one persons gonna be in there at a time anyway!!

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  49. There was a (heated) discussion about this today. The best quotation from today was: “Mens’ are for people with dicks, Womens’ are for people with pussies, and Disableds’ are for people with broken legs and shit.”

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  50. 4 Jun ’09 at 4:59 pm

    Simon Whitten

    “There was a (heated) discussion about this today. The best quotation from today was: “Mens’ are for people with dicks, Womens’ are for people with pussies, and Disableds’ are for people with broken legs and shit.””

    Wow, you must be a f*cking genius; if only we’d thought of that.

    If you’re not willing to put your name to your views they’re probably not worth typing.

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  51. 4 Jun ’09 at 7:00 pm

    Marcus Gillan

    Lighten up Simon, I thought that was quite funny. After all, the UGM was a bit of a joke.

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  52. Marcus Gillan for Democracy and Services!

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  53. To be fair, the mens toilets in Ziggys are effectively gender neutral so this is no different…

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  54. 5 Jun ’09 at 11:38 am

    Tobias Ziegler

    Gillan for D&S! Can we have another election? Don’t really want a fruit and veg stall and I can make my own sandwiches :-p

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  55. Simon, I did not see you commenting against anyone else posting anonymously, when they were in favour of the motion…
    A.

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  56. 5 Jun ’09 at 4:43 pm

    Simon Whitten

    Or when they were opposing it, but that last one deserved being called out.

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  57. 6 Jun ’09 at 1:58 am

    Richard O'Neill

    Not sure what the fuss is about really. I voted for it as I believe we should strive to accommodate all people’s needs and desires and requirements where possible. Whether that is practical is a different matter and something that will come down ultimately to the LGBT reps vs. the University (or something like that, I imagine?). After all, these votes only decide what the Union’s stance will be – so taking a stance to represent bi-gendered student’s interests in this matter doesn’t seem a bad thing.

    Though with all the arguing in the comments, I wonder if I am mistaken. Also, just throwing in a further 2p, what’s wrong with non-gendered toilets in general? Why is there a need for gendered toilets? I guess we still have some social hangups about privacy and such, but if you go to someone’s house the toilet you use doesn’t say men or women’s on, does it?

    If the main purpose is because of a fear of sexual predators and/or not being able to whip your bits out then we have bigger problems to worry about than what the sign says on the front of the door.

    I personally think some of the nicest toilets on campus are the ones in the Roger Kirk Centre which are relatively gender neutral. (with the arbitrary divide down the middle just to make people feel at ease)

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    • Hi Dionne,We have many members from other cueitrnos who use their bank debit card to make payments or their credit cards. We’re not in a position to offer other ways of payment. We’re a small organization.You might talk to your banker about options for your specific situation.Be blessed!

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  58. 6 Jun ’09 at 12:19 pm

    Sami Rose Sterjon

    Yeah the roger kirk ones are good. I wonder if that’s the sort of thing we’ll end up with?

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  59. Amazing, if I was still in York I’d use them everyday just to confuse people, it’d be great place to pull.

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  60. 7 Jun ’09 at 12:58 pm

    Richard O'Neill

    lol Gina. I’ve never heard anyone considering toilets as great places to pull before!

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  61. 7 Jun ’09 at 5:48 pm

    Jack Sparrow

    What an absolute joke. I’m extremely glad I’m leaving this University now political correctness has finally gone mad here as well. You are born either male or female (unless you’re unlucky enough to be a hermaphrodite and I’m not aware of any at University, even so, just take your damn pick). If you want to change your sex, fine, whatever, just switch toilets. I have no time for people who are male and decide they suddenly want to be female or vice versa.

    Gender neutral toilets are completely ridiculous and alienate those people who live outside this fantasy world of LGBT. It will confuse a great number of people who are looking for the “Male” or “Female” toilet.

    Small victory my arse, try defining yourself by something more than just your sexuality.

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  62. 7 Jun ’09 at 6:58 pm

    A. Catsambas

    By the way, I know that to most of you this motion seems perfectly reasonable, but you also need to realise that no society which is being extreme in any way realises it. Do you think the Americans realise how silly their trials are? (the ones awarding you millions of dollars if you spill your own coffee on yourself).

    Similarly, I bet that most other countries will look at the UK and say ‘the hell?’
    A.

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  63. 7 Jun ’09 at 7:08 pm

    Simon Whitten

    Yea, I bet Iran, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan think this is political correctness gone mad.

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  64. 7 Jun ’09 at 7:19 pm

    A. Catsambas

    And also Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, Russia, China, Japan, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, South Africa, France, Albania, Bulgaria…
    A.

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  65. 8 Jun ’09 at 12:48 am

    Richard O'Neill

    Some small points:

    1. “Political correctness gone mad” – it is imo better to err on the side of caution and go too far, than to err on the side of ignorance and not go far enough.

    2. Most of the countries looking at the UK? I don’t think they’ll care. And even if they did, it’s only because of some tabloid spin on it. In the US the compensation culture is arguably pretty good as it strictly enforces responsibility onto otherwise irresponsible individuals and organisations. The majority of people just read into it differently because of how the media paints the story – they only ever tell of the stupid cases that get thrown out straight away like the guy who used a drill to itch his nose.

    3. As I said, my belief is that this is actually just deciding on what YUSU’s policy direction on this should be, the actual logistics of such will be sorted out through negotiations. I wouldn’t be surprised if nothing actually comes of it (similar to how nothing came to the “lets graduate in the minster” campaign). I may be wrong on this point though.

    4. What’s so offensive about gender neutral toilets that makes people complain anyway? I always have seen gender specific toilets as pretty old-fashioned, but that’s just me I guess. I’ve been in Ziggy’s more than once when the girls have been queuing to get in the boys, because a toilet is a toilet and if you need to go, you need to go whatever the sign is.

    5. If removing a gender sign from maybe 3 or 4 different toilets across campus means the individuals affected don’t feel worried about using them then that’s a good thing, surely? It’s not going to stop anyone else using those toilets. I actually don’t see what at all is objectionable. If anything it’s just common sense.

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  66. 9 Jun ’09 at 9:08 am

    Jack Sparrow

    1. This isn’t caution; this is going too far.

    2. The American compensation culture allows moronic people to make money out of their stupidity. If they removed safety labels from everything then the problem would sort itself.

    4. Offensive? Not really. Dangerous? Yes. Allowing men to go into the female toilets at a campus event is just asking for trouble. I’m surprised the women’s officer is happy at this motion as it’s a serious risk to the safety of the female students. On the other hand, I don’t really want a girl coming into the lads’ when I’m taking a slash, it’s a little uncomfortable, no?

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  67. This motion does not allow male students to go into female-assigned toilets or vice-versa. If anyone feels that they’re put at risk by using the gender neutral toilet, they can simply continue to use their preferred gendered facilities. No-one is required to use them.

    Anyone who has serious concerns about the safety of students resulting from this motion being implemented should raise them with the [Academic and] Welfare Officer.

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  68. “And also Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, Russia, China, Japan, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, South Africa, France, Albania, Bulgaria…”

    “I remember a funny experience in a trattoria in Rome. At the bottom of the stairs, there were three tiny rooms there; one was marked ‘men’s’, the other ‘ladies”, and the third one was unmarked.”

    “When questioned by the newspaper, the attendant at one of the now unmarked toilets near the Beijing International Exhibition Center argued that the place could still be “easily identified” as a lavatory Even without a sign.”

    I could continue to just randomly search the internet for “Rome”, “Beijing”, “New Delhi”, “Madrid”, “Brasilia” etc. but I think I’ll stop there with enough point proven.

    Though, I’ll just add, Aris, that you sound like these two (and that’s not a good thing): http://www.asgrim.com/2008/09/30/gender-neutral-toilets/

    “is she a lesbian?” ROFL

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/7643175.stm

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  69. Jack Sparrow,
    1. You are stating an opinion as fact. Good in a pub argument, but not convincing me. There are no standards of what is too far, and what is not far enough as it is purely subjective. That’s why it is impossible to have the perfect amount of political correctness. That’s why I said it is better to err on the side of caution.

    2. If a civil claim is ridiculous, it gets thrown out. The judge has to hear the legal arguments for and against to see whether it is worth going to court over, if it’s not he or she will dismiss it. This provides an efficient mechanism to govern firms, without requiring government intervention. If only every country had such an efficient mechanism (then Chinese sweatshop labourers could sue for inhumane treatment, mothers in India could sue Nescafé for printing instructions for baby formula in English which they couldn’t read). The only people -logically- who think this kind of free-market governance is bad are those either with profound knowledge (who understand the theory is broken? perhaps) or those who just read tabloids which have stupid stories.

    4. Something of a straw man, in that the SU motion never said women would be compelled to use gender-neutral toilets. Imagine if you will, Langwith college. The toilets next to the porters lodge have their gender sign removed, and anyone can use them regardless of gender. The toilets opposite the courtyard, however, still have their gender designations in-tact. Therefore if you are in the courtyard, it is a 30 second walk to either a gender-neutral or gender-specific toilet. Dangerous? That you mention it’s a serious risk to women’s safety makes me wonder why you don’t have the same concerns about shared accomodation, where men and women can share the same toilets, showers, kitchens and social spaces – where a good portion of the time they may be drunk as well.

    Lets face it, men and women in particular do face dangers, but those dangers aren’t around every corner and it’s not like we can just arbitrarily segregate men and women in order to prevent those dangers. This motion isn’t about removing protections, but rather about providing choice.

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  70. 9 Jun ’09 at 3:00 pm

    Elliott Smith

    To the large number of men commenting things like “I don’t want to be using the same bathroom as someone with a vagina” – you already are. I am by no means the only transsexual man on this campus to use the Male Toilets.
    I supported this motion not just for my own safety (people have attempted to evict me before and on one occasion i felt genuinely afraid that he would become violent) but also for the comfort of people like you. I know you don’t want me in there so why not create a place where i can feel confident that nobody cares what genetalia i do or do not have?
    Also, there are some women here on campus who use the women’s toilets despite being biologically male. It happens. And i appreciate that some people are uncomfortable with this so, again we need a space for these women where they know that no one will care about their biological sex.

    As for gender nuetral toilets being a danger to women, women are sensible enough to make their own descisions and if they feel safer in a toilet which is designated as female then that’s fine. And not all male-bodied people are rapists and sexual predators (indeed not all rapists and sexual predators are male-bodied) and anyone who truly did want to assault women in bathrooms would not be encouraged or discouraged by what sign happened to be on the door.

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  71. 10 Jun ’09 at 10:44 am

    Marion Nutter

    I honestly can’t see what all the fuss is about. The motion that has been passed is suggesting that we have four types of toilet (male, female, neutral and disabled) instead of three. The only financial cost is adding or removing door signs and publicising which have changed and which haven’t.

    People who aren’t comfortable with the idea of using a toilet around others with different genetallia (whether this is because they are trans-gender and in the ‘wrong’ toilets or because they are afraid of their personal safety) are being given more privacy. And those who are transgender have somewhere to go to the toilet in peace.

    As Elliot says, “I supported this motion not just for my own safety […] but also for the comfort of people like you.” How can such a motion be seen as ‘political correctness gone mad’ if it further accommodates the needs and wishes of two opposing groups of people?

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  72. 10 Jun ’09 at 10:47 am

    Marion Nutter

    Sorry, that was ambiguously (or just badly) phrased. I meant “whether this is because they see someone who is transgender as being in the ‘wrong’ toilets”. I promise to proof-read next time!

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  73. How can you degender toilets but still have a women’s facility?

    Surely then it just becomes Ladies and Gender-netural in which ladies go to the ladies toilets, and all others go to the Gender-neutral? There’s no redesignation- just renaming, surely?

    Does the renaming of such facilities actually make a difference?

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  74. Brian, the proposal is as such: If there are 2 sets of toilets, as in 2 women’s and 2 male’s, then 1 of the women’s toilets is “degendered”, to make 1 women’s and 2 male’s.

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  75. The proposal isn’t quite that; the proposal is to provide “degendered” toilets where possible and it looks likely that that will be the most logical approach (as urinals aren’t the most effective toilet for some people) in most cases.

    But the point is still true, and I can’t remember how many times I’ve seen it said or said it myself (getting on for 20 on Nouse alone?) but the proposals WILL NOT REMOVE GENDERED TOILET CHOICE but rather convert one where there are multiple, IF NECESSARY. There are other options too and we’ll see what happens when the policy leads to action.

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  76. “If a civil claim is ridiculous, it gets thrown out. The judge has to hear the legal arguments for and against to see whether it is worth going to court over, if it’s not he or she will dismiss it. ”

    Not in the US. People have been compensated for being locked inside a house they were trying to rob. Out of fear of law-suits, hotels in the US only have shallow pools. In this aspect, the country’s laws are ridiculous. And pretty much everyone else in the world agrees on it.

    Jason, you very immaturely provide several comments from the web. I am telling you once again: just ask random students for their opinion. By random I mean not your friends, not people who have followed this debate, not members of the welfare committee. Just go to any university cafe, and ask what people think. Nearly everyone I discussed this topic with said it was over the top.
    A.

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  77. Aris, what proportion of the people you asked, if any, identify as trans?

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  78. Em- obviously very few were asked. No trans person, unless they were being sarcastic, would ever think this was a bad idea. This was a proposal for trans individuals more than anything- so asking ‘regular’ folks off the street simply makes no sense. No respecting scientist would ever do that. You don’t ask frogs what to do about the rights of clouds, do you?

    I see this is a wonderful first step (among many steps) for our acceptance as human beings. Just hang in there- we will get out rights soon, just keep fighting and have hope.

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    • I noticed on my iPad that there was a link to dlonwoad Flash Player , which doesn’t operate in an Apple environment, yet I was able to open this first video on my iPad. Will I be able to utilize my membership fully via my iPad and iPhone, including all the videos, blog use, etc? Or, are there facets of your program that absolutely require Flash Player?Also, if I pay for a year’s membership, what do you offer with regards to a financial refund if I choose to cancel my membership before a year is up?Thank you,

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  79. Jun09Kim The curls might not disappear when you next have it cut my Nephew is 6-and-a-half now and his hair is as curly as it’s alwyas been. In fact when he has it cut it generally makes the curls more evenly distributed over his head, rather than the weight making the curls fall more towards the ends. I can see why you’d be reluctant to risk it though, there’s something about curls on a little boy I kind of hope Ryan never wants his hair cut short enough to loose them!!

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