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U of T changes gender-neutral washroom policy after voyeurism allegations surface

Last Updated Oct 6, 2015 at 2:41 pm EST

University of Toronto's Whitney Hall. Image courtesy utoronto.ca.

The University of Toronto is separating the number of gender-neutral bathrooms after two women reported someone had taken video of them in the shower.

The acts of voyeurism allegedly happened in two separate incidences only a few weeks into the new school year.

Police said the first incident happened on Sept. 15 at around 10:45 a.m. in a shower on the second floor. The second instance happened four days later at a third floor shower around 9:15 p.m.

Both women reported seeing someone reach a cellphone over while they were in the shower at Whitney Hall, a student residence in the heart of the university’s downtown campus.

“In both instances two people noticed a cellphone coming over the edge of the shower stall,” Toronto police Const. Victor Kwong said. “When they went out they saw no one.”

The school has since reportedly taken steps to alter their gender-neutral policy on many of the residence’s washrooms.

“Given the serious nature of these incidents and the impact on directly affected students, we made the decision to specifically designate some washrooms throughout the building for those who identify as men and those who identify as women,” Melinda Scott, dean of students at University College, told CityNews. “At the same time, more than 50% of the washrooms in the residence remain gender-neutral.”

However, Scott noted these measures would be temporary until they could re-evaluating the designation of the washrooms in the coming weeks

“The purpose of this temporary measure is to provide a safe space for the women who have been directly impacted by the incidents of voyeurism and other students who may feel more comfortable in a single gender washroom in the wake of these events,” she explained.

Police said they are working with campus authorities on their investigation.

A suspect description has not been released.