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TISS to Introduce Gender-Neutral Hostel in Its Mumbai Campus

The new hostel space is the result of a long-term campaign by the TISS Queer Collective. 

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In an attempt to promote gender-inclusiveness, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) campus in Mumbai has introduced a gender-neutral hostel space, which will begin operations in June, reports The Indian Express.

The hostel-space in question has been made available on the ground floor of an existing girls hostel, and will accommodate the varsity’s MA students who identify as “transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming”.

The notification for this, announced on 5 April also sought applications from students in their second year, who wished to book their spot in the hostel space. The rooms will be offered on a first-come-first-serve basis.

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The new gender-neutral hostel space at Hostel IV can accommodate up to 20 students. PK Shajahan, dean of student affairs at TISS told The Indian Express that the number of rooms could be increased later. “The hostel came into being because of a combined effort by students, faculty members as well as the administration,” Shahjahan told the daily.

The report mentions that this new hostel space is the result of a long-term campaign by the TISS Queer Collective (QC), a student body that has been amplifying the demand for safe spaces for LGBTQ students, who have been demanding a gender-neutral hostel space since last year.

In fact, the student union had passed a resolution in its general body meeting, where they had put in the demand for a gender-neutral hostel space as well as for gender-neutral toilets on campus.

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Twitter Congratulates TISS

The news has been received warmly across social media, with users on Twitter and Facebook praising the University for taking such a progressive step.

In a similar step towards gender-neutrality, the institute had given its students the option to mark the gender-neutral salutation ‘Mx’ in their certificates. As a result, graduating students could choose between Ms, Mr, Mrs and Mx honorifics.

(With inputs from The Indian Express)

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Topics:  Mumbai   LGBT   University 

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