UBC Undergraduate Research

The UBC Aquatic Centre Universal Change Rooms Camp, Lana; Scherer, Veronika; Ta, Miranda; Wahl, Max; Wong, Boris


The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding on the students and community members who use the universal change rooms in the Aquatic Centre at the University of British Columbia (UBC), explore how UBC Recreation can better inform the community about the existing universal change rooms, as well as encourage the use of these facilities. Employing quantitative and qualitative research, we would like to gain further insight on the perceptions, attitudes, and level of awareness among UBC students and community members alike towards the universal change rooms implemented in UBC’s Aquatic Centre. We conducted our survey through UBC Qualtrics, which consisted of scaled Likert-type questions and openended responses. Sixty-one consenting participants were surveyed about their knowledge and experiences on universal change rooms. The information we gathered will be used by our SEEDs partners in order to improve the experience of using the universal change rooms. The responses from our survey found that most people were familiar with the purpose and function of universal change rooms and endorsed their usage. Despite this however, only 58.33% of responses knew that the UBC Aquatic Centre had universal change rooms. This could be indicative of unmet needs in the promotion of these facility features. In addition, the majority of respondents indicated their preference for gender specific change rooms as the reason for forgoing the use of universal ones. Based on our findings, we recommend that our SEEDs partners focus on promoting privacy, proper staff education, community collaboration, as well as targeted promotion directed at populations who are unaware or unfamiliar with universal change rooms. Many responses in the survey also stated that privacy was their biggest concern when using universal change rooms. Accordingly, we believe that it is important to focus advertisement on the current privacy features that are in place, and to implement more individual stalls in the shared space for their users to feel more comfortable. We also endorse the formal education of Aquatics Centre staff, as it is extremely important to ensure that they are confident and comfortable with providing information to any individuals who may want to use the universal change rooms. Additionally, we believe that collaboration with all members of the community is crucial; in particular, those who represent the LGBTQ+ community stand to benefit the most from the proper implementation of universal change rooms, and thus collaboration with them can provide important insights. Lastly, we believe that targeted promotion towards the populations who have the least familiarity with universal change rooms (such as older populations or newly-immigrated community members) would be most beneficial. We are confident that the universal change rooms can be further improved if these recommendations are taken carefully considered and implemented. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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