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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Glimpse into Gender Neutral Housing

Story by Madilyn Bates

A Glimpse into Gender Neutral Housing
The Fall 2013 semester brought a new housing option for Fort Lewis College students: gender neutral housing.

The Gender Neutral Housing accommodations provide a means for all students to feel comfortable in their new home.

“Sometimes it is more comfortable for people to room with members of the opposite sex,” Eric Smith, resident assistant in Animas Hall, said. “If they are homosexual or transsexual, it does not force them into a situation where they are uncomfortable or do not want to go home.”

This housing option was created as a result of students expressing interest to alternative housing options.

The Gender Neutral Housing Fact Sheet, which is available at the Student Housing Office, states that the new housing option was created after students expressed interests in an alternative to the traditional single-gendered housing.

The program’s size will grow as its popularity does, but other colleges and universities across the nation report anywhere from 1 percent to 4 percent of the housing population participating in gender neutral housing, according to the GNH Fact Sheet.

Students may mutually request roommates, and if they haven’t made a request, Student Housing will communicate with students to find a roommate best suited to the needs of the resident.

“Gender neutral housing has been great for me as it has given me more flexibility with my living options and a space in which I feel safe” Luke Knudsen, a student participant, said. “I also think its been a great thing for the community. It allows everyone on campus to have a living situation they can feel comfortable in, even if it isn’t the traditional single-gender room.”

Students interested in participating in this program should select “special living options” when filling out the housing application.
 

The Independent | Fort Lewis College | 1000 Rim Drive | Durango, CO 81301 | 970-247-7405 |  independent@fortlewis.edu