Gender-neutral washrooms part of inclusive campus for new student union president

The president-elect of the UPEI Student Union wants to see gender-neutral washrooms in every building on campus.

It is part of Hammad Ahmed's campaign to make the campus more inclusive.

Ahmed was elected student union president this week, and will be the first international student to hold the office.

"I want work towards having them, at least one in every building, so that everyone, like whoever's in need, does not have to walk to another building," said Ahmed.

Currently, the university has 20 gender-neutral bathrooms in nine buildings. Another 10 buildings -— including Main — don't have a single one.

"The university has been making as many gender neutral bathrooms as possible, and any new building constructed will automatically have at least one gender neutral bathroom included," said a spokesperson for UPEI.

Bringing domestic and international students together

Ahmed is originally from Pakistan, but grew up in Saudia Arabia and Dubai. He came to UPEI three years ago to study engineering.

He campaigned on creating a more integrated campus. He said it can be difficult to get international and domestic students out to campus events together.

"When you advertise an event as a normal event it's hard to get the international community to come and be part of it," said Ahmed.

"And if you call an event international or global something it's hard to get domestic students to get involved in it."

From campus buddy to president

He wants to make sure accessible parking spaces are available for students who need them. Ahmed is also looking to get more low-cost food options available on campus later in the day and evenings.

His previous campus experience includes volunteering as a frosh leader, acting as the campus' buddy program coordinator and as president of the Society of International Students.

Ahmed and the other new executive take office April 1.

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