DSU Supporting Segregation

The pilot project introducing private swims for women at Dalplex raises concern. According to published reports, these swims have been implemented for “cultural” and “religious” reasons. It has been reported that the DSU supports this measure, and has contributed funding to purchase blinds at the pool.

I am opposed to this pilot project which has no place in a public building. Dalplex has offered mixed swims since the 1970s but there is now a need for “privacy”? Not only privacy, but with blinds? This measure has no place in an inclusive, pluralistic society where people of different genders, abilities, ages and orientations co-mingle. If women are so uncomfortable that they must shield themselves from society they should find a pool located on private property.

Persons with severe physical disabilities swim at public pools with able-bodied people, of both genders. It is offensive that the DSU is condoning segregation of men and women at a public facility. It is ridiculous that blinds are being supplied by the DSU to validate the idea that women must be sequestered from the rest of society and indeed from other women, who, like myself, really enjoys watching others swim and have fun in a pool.

If women believe they must hide in shame, they should fundraise to build a pool of their own.

Yours truly,

Mary MacDonald

Dalhousie student


  1. Jacqueline on February 28, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Hi Mary,

    I don’t usually comment here on behalf of the DSU but I came across this opinion piece and feel it could be helpful for you to speak with a member of the DSU executive about it directly. You voice a valid concern about segregation and the way women are affected in society.
    “If women believe they must hide in shame”, I believe they should not be further victimised, marginalised, and segregated from public property by having to “build a pool of their own”. The DSU does not support segregation. We do understand that our students and community members come from all over the world, as do their cultures and traditions. We do our best to respect people and make sure they feel part of the community.
    I’m happy to talk with you about this, please reach out to me via email if you’d like.

    Jacqueline Skiptunis, DSU VP Academic & External

    • M. MacDonald on February 28, 2015 at 6:39 pm

      Thank you for this comment Jacqueline. Absolutely no one is being victimized, marginalized or segregated … in fact, the segregation is putting people behind blinds. This isn’t compatible with Canadian principles of an open and inclusive society. How exactly do individuals feel a part of the community when hiding behind blinds? They are free to organize swims at privately-owned pools as they choose; however, in a taxpayer-funded public space, it is simply unacceptable to segregate on the basis of age and gender, citing religious beliefs.

      • Beatrice on February 28, 2015 at 10:14 pm

        We all are from different societies and different cultures and find ourselves together. Despite all those cultures from back home, we should respect others. If we can pay the tax that we did not use to pay then we should also adjust ourselves to some others regulations established before us. That does not mean that some of us are being marginalised, victimised nor segregated. Our parents met all those those public rules or so. Otherwise I should have said that the bus should stop everywhere someone needs it to stop but unfortunately can’t because the rule has already been made. Instead, let’s think of some good changes which will affect others in a better way.

        • Heureuse on March 3, 2015 at 11:28 am

          Ne soyons pas égoïstes s’il vous plait. Nous sommes tous issu de différentes cultures. Nous avons nos mœurs mais nous nous soumettons aux règlements établis avant que nous soyons la. c’est un peu blizzard que l’on fasse cela parce que quand une personne est entrain de nager,et lui et les spectateurs ,tous s’amusent au même moment. Au lieu d”aveugler les choses juste comme ça, Il serait mieux de construire une autre piscine a part qui sera juste privée pour celles ou ceux qui veulent nager sans les autres les contemplent. Rappelons nous que ce sont des biens communautaires et cela sans aucune distinction. Nos parents les ont rencontrés et les ont respectés. En evitant l’egoisme, a notre tour de penser au bon changement qui sera semblera meilleur pour les autres

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Mary MacDonald

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