Submitted to the University Student Life Committee by the Gender-Inclusive Housing Working Group, Fall 2016

Introduction

Given LGBTQIA students’ ongoing feedback to both Housing and the LGBT Center, the charge for the Gender-Inclusive Housing Working Group was to research others institutions’ housing policies for serving transgender and gender non-conforming students and provide a recommendation of which policy to pursue.

At Princeton currently (as of July 2016), about 10% of undergraduate housing has the option to be accessed by mixed gender groups. The standard for this housing is any room configuration that has one more room than it does occupants, or an “n+1 standard.” However, these 10% of rooms are not reserved for mixed gender groups only, so same gender-groups are allowed to access them. Currently, the other 90% of undergraduate housing bed spots are reserved for same-gender groups only.

Additionally, the current rooms which meet the n+1 standard have typically been the most popular rooms resulting in their early selection during Room Draw. This makes securing gender-inclusive housing often challenging for any students who may seek it, and makes it especially stressful for some transgender and gender non-conforming students who may not just desire but have an important need for gender-inclusive housing.

Proposal for adoption in spring 2017

The group researched 16 schools’ policies (see Appendix), and discussed in depth the pros and cons of various options. The policy that the Working Group recommends adopting is:

Students participating in undergraduate room draw (sophomores, juniors and seniors) may select roommate groups of their choosing. Students can choose to live in same-gender or mixed-gender housing configurations. No student will be assigned to a mixed-gender housing group unless they have elected to do so.

Any incoming first year students needing gender-inclusive housing should contact the Housing Office to share what housing needs they have, and Housing will work with Residential College staff to accommodate first year students as well. Graduate students may access gender-inclusive housing by specifying their desire or need on their housing form; almost all graduate housing can be mixed-gender.

Some transgender and gender non-conforming students may have an urgent or safety need for a private bathroom or single-occupancy bathroom near their room. In this case, students must meet Housing deadlines for the pre-draw accommodation process. These students will be accommodated, but they may not get their first choice of room or number of roommates.

Gender-Inclusive Housing Working Group Members

  • Vice President for Campus Life Rochelle Calhoun
  • Assistant Vice President of University Services Andrew Kane
  • Bryant Blount, Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Students
  • Michelle Brown, Student Housing Coordinator
  • Angie Hodgeman, Manager of Undergraduate Housing
  • Judy Jarvis, LGBT Center Director
  • Dorian Johnson, Director, Housing & Real Estate Services
  • Amada Sandoval, Women’s Center Director
  • With research support from Arlene Gamio ’18 and Lil Gellman ‘17

Appendix: Other Schools’ Policies

Amherst

  • All housing is gender-inclusive unless a student chooses to live on a single-gender floor
  • All Gender Housing is available to all students

Arizona State University

  • Students must contact and meet with the ASU Housing Office in order to indicate interest in Gender Inclusive Housing
  • Gender Inclusive Housing is available at all ASU campuses

Brown University

  • All multi-bedroom suites and apartments are capable of being gender-neutral
  • Students enter the Housing Lottery with their prospective roommates and choose from the pool of gender-neutral optional rooms
  • When gender-neutral optional rooms are no longer available, mixed-gender groups must split into smaller, single-gender groups and choose from the remaining rooms in the lottery

College of William and Mary

  • Adaptive housing accommodations encompasses students who need housing arrangements based on gender identity or religious need
  • Students meet with a Residence Life staff member in order to assess need for adaptive housing, each year that they need adaptive housing
  • Requests are on a case-by-case basis

Columbia University

  • Student indicate interest in Open Housing (housing without regard to gender) during the regular housing lottery application period
  • Transgender Housing allows students to request single rooms with private bathrooms
  • Both housing situations are on a case-by-case basis

Cornell University

  • Students must indicate interest in gender-inclusive housing during the housing lottery application period
  • If offered a gender-inclusive room, the student will name their roommates
  • Offers are based on availability

Gettysburg College

  • Students enter the housing selection process with their prospective roommates
  • There is no limit to the number of gender-neutral rooms on campus (all rooms have the option of being gender-neutral)
  • If there is a vacancy in a gender-neutral room, the remaining roommate(s) can pull in another student of any gender

Harvard University

  • Gender-neutral housing is available to sophomore, junior, and senior students
  • Gender-neutral housing is assigned on a case-by-case basis through the Harvard Housing department and the Dean’s Office
  • Students who need extra accommodations (private bathroom) should contact the Director of LGBTQ Student Life for assistance

Middlebury College

  • All-gender housing is available to sophomore, junior, and senior students
  • All gender housing is available in all buildings on Middlebury’s campus
  • Students must select the all-gender housing option within the regular housing selection process

Rutgers

  • Gender-neutral housing is available to all returning students in a suite or apartment style room
  • Student must name their roommates
  • Incoming students can request to speak with a housing representative if they need housing based on gender identity

Stanford University

  • Currently working to make all upperclassmen rooms gender-neutral
  • Student apply for the housing draw with their prospective roommates and choose the gender-neutral housing options as their top preferences and fill out a formal gender neutral request
  • Students are offered assignments based on availability
  • Extra accommodations (private bathroom) are handled on a case-by-case basis

University of California Riverside

  • Gender-neutral housing placement priority will be given to students who notify UCR housing in a timely manner that they require accommodations based on their gender identity or gender expression. Students must meet all Housing contract and payment deadlines.

University of Chicago

  • There is no limit on the availability of open housing, except in areas indicated as single gender
  • Supply is based on demand
  • Students participate in the regular housing draw and choose their own roommates

University of Pennsylvania

  • Any room on campus can be gender neutral
  • Students who indicate an interest in gender-neutral housing on the housing lottery application will have their gender changed to “neutral” in the back office system in order to choose their own roommates
  • Gender-neutral housing is available to all students

Vassar College

  • Upper-class students who wish to be suitemates/housemates/roommates will be allowed to do so without regard to their gender.

Yale University

  • Mixed-Gender Suites options are available for sophomore, juniors and seniors.
  • Housing needs of incoming first-year students are handled on a case-by-case basis by contacting a Residential College Dean.