The Kerr Hall West change room is being used for Ryerson theatre students.

Photo: Devin Jones

All-gender change room given to theatre students

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By Sidney Drmay

The Ryerson Trans Collective has been anticipating the opening of all-gender change rooms, which were scheduled to be available to students this semester. But the designated space has been reassigned to the Ryerson Theatre School.

In February 2016, Ryerson held its first budget town hall, where funding for all-gender change rooms was announced. A temporary room was provided in Kerr Hall near the Ryerson Athletic Centre (RAC) and renovations were scheduled to make the space accessible for trans students.

Trans Collective coordinator Evan Roy has been working towards getting an appropriate space since 2015, but has been unsuccessful. They said the change room they were originally given wasn’t accessible.

“The key problems with that space was that it required a passcode as opposed to OneCard access, it does not have single stall showers and it did not have an accessible doorway, which is one of our priorities in our new space,” Roy said.

RAC manager Anthony Seymour noted that the loss of the space for trans students was unfortunate. He said that they are working to create a new space as soon as possible.

“[The theatre school] closed their building for the renovations, so they’ve had to get some additional space, and that space being ideally located [by] the elevators to the theatre meant it was perfect for them to use,” Seymour said. “We’re ready to move forward. I don’t know where the hold-up is but I know it’s campus planning and [Equity, Diversity and Inclusion’s] work right now.”

Theatre students are still looking for a home after it was announced that the theatre school on Gerrard Street was unfit to house the program. They’re being relocated to the basement of the Student Learning Centre and the Atrium on Bay Street until the university can find a permanent space, which is expected to happen by 2019.

Roy said they are not surprised that the changes are taking so long, stating that “delays and a consistent lack of communication” are things the Trans Collective has encountered often.

“This is a reality that has become very clear, that if we want better spaces at Ryerson we will have to create them ourselves,” Roy said. “We made this change room happen, and we will make sure it is back up and operational soon.”

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