Stepping up efforts to promote diversity and inclusion for LGBT students

Waseda University is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion on campus. The term diversity here is not restricted to one’s nationality, ethnicity, religion or values, but extended to one’s gender and sexual orientation. In an effort to create a campus where everyone including the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) student community can feel safe and comfortable, the Gender and Sexuality (GS) Center is established and opened on April 3, 2017.

First across all Japanese universities – Gender and Sexuality (GS) Center

 

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The GS Center is located in Building 10, 2F. It is the room with rainbow curtains.

The GS Center is located on the main campus in Building 10, 2F. You can spot it from the outside of Building 10 where you will see a window with rainbow curtains. To get to the Center, take the stairs on the left of the building and it will bring you directly to the office. The University has specially chosen a spot for the Center that students do not frequently passed by in hope that students will feel more at ease and less hesitated to visit us.

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As the purposes of the opening of the GS Center include promoting understanding on gender and sexuality, and gaining support from the student population, we are more than happy to welcome students who hope to seek a deeper understanding on gender and sexuality to visit us. Having said so, parents or guardians of the LGBT student community are also welcomed to pay us a visit at our office.

Even though the GS Center has just opened recently, you can feel at ease in the hands of our staffs as they are experienced personnel who have been engaging with the LGBT community. The Center is also well-equipped with computers, books and DVDs which you can use at your convenience to learn more about gender and sexuality, as well as the LGBT community.

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Staffs working at GS Center – Kazuki Taiga (left) and Ayumu Watanabe (right)

At the GS Center, you will be greeted by the Center’s staffs – Kazuki Taiga and Ayumu Watanabe. Besides Taiga and Watanabe, you will also find student staffs helping out at the Center. As the GS Center is committed to protecting the privacy and personal information of students, you do not have to provide your real name if you do not wish to. In the case of the student staffs, they usually refer to each other by their nicknames. These initiatives are in line with the list of ground rules all staffs and student staffs have to abide by at the GS Center.

GS Center Ground Rules

  1. To have mutual respect for each other:
    We believe that we should respect each other regardless of their sexual orientation or background (nationality, religion, ethnicity, etc.).
  2. To keep all discussions within the walls of GS Center:
    We are committed to protecting the privacy of students, and hence no staff or student staff is allowed to bring any discussion out of the Center.
  3. To respect the decisions and preferences made by each other:
    We are committed to creating an environment where students can feel free and comfortable in expressing themselves, and hence no staff or student staff should force anyone to talk about things they do not wish to.
  4. To be careful when sharing thoughts or past experiences:
    As topics such as bullying and sexual harassment can be sensitive and students may feel uncomfortable or disturbed listening to them, all staff and student staff should exercise caution and seek understanding from visiting students before sharing them. In case you are in doubt, talk to a staff to seek clarification.
  5. Not to assume one’s gender or sexual orientation based on their appearance:
    Do not assume someone is a male or female, or lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender etc., based on the way they look, speak or dress. It is therefore important to be careful with how you address the students and avoid using words such as “he” or “she” based on your assumption.

Gender and Sexuality (GS) Center Visiting Information

Opening hours: 10:00~17:00
Location: Waseda Main Campus Building 10, Room 213
Telephone: 03-3204-4607
Email: gscenter#@#list.waseda.jp (replace “#@#” with “@”)

Raising awareness of LGBT community

You can find books related to gender studies and LGBT community at CO-OP (Cooperative Association).

Period: Spring Semester
Location: Main Campus Building 17, Tokorozawa Campus Building 32, Nishiwaseda Campus Building 57、 Tokorozawa Campus Building 100

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Participating in Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2017 Parade & Festa

Members of the GS Center will participate in the Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2017. It is an event that aims to foster a society in which individuals feel comfortable and happy with being themselves, regardless of where they fall on the SOGI (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity) spectrum. The main events are the Parade and Festa festival, taking place during the Rainbow Week (Golden Week) throughout Japan. In addition, many companies and organizations will set up booths at these events. Members of the GS Center will be present at the booth set up by LGBT Komonkai (a group organized by the alumni of Waseda University who aim to promote understanding of the LGBT community) at Yoyogi Park.

Time: May 5 ~ 6, 2017      10:00 ~ 17:00 (tentative)
Location: Yoyogi Park, Event Square

Removal of gender column on attendance booklet to prevent outing

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In our modern society, most people are being labeled as either male or female on their identification documents when they are born. However, this is based solely on their biological sex which can be in conflict with how they want themselves to be identified with. Thus, in order to create an environment where the LGBT student community can feel comfortable being themselves, there is a need to make changes to our existing system. One of these initiatives came up by the school is the removal of gender column on the student attendance booklets which is in effect starting April 2017. This could help the LGBT student community feel more comfortable at school by eliminating problems such as unnecessary outing, i.e. the un-consented disclosure of an LGBT person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

 

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Location of Unisex Toilets

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Unisex Toilet

Waseda University is committed to building a campus where everyone can study and feel comfortable and safe. The University has created campus maps with information about barrier free access, childcare facilities, and unisex restrooms, based on the concept of universal design.

 

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