Great story from the Chicago Tribune from a couple of weeks back. University of Chicago is implementing a gender inclusive housing policy following the lead of socially progressive campuses like OSU. Several of our housing folks were interviewed for the story.
From the Trib:
The University of Chicago, proud home of Nobel laureates, will undertake a bold experiment in chemistry: coed dorm rooms.
The pilot program allowing male and female students to sleep in the same room will start next month. It’s not intended for romantic couples, but they won’t be excluded, because the university won’t ask students why they want to live together.
The proposal was a student-led initiative, university officials said.
Coed dorm rooms are allowed at more than 30 campuses nationwide, but they have generally been socially liberal institutions, such as Wesleyan University, Oberlin College and Oregon State University. The policy is a departure at U. of C., which has a no-nonsense, nose-in-a-book reputation.
A quote from Josh Gana, OSU UHDS:
Josh Gana, assistant director for operations and facilities with university housing at Oregon State University, said their “gender inclusives” program has been a great success. The program was introduced in fall 2007, Gana said, and the university will have more than doubled the number of mixed-gender arrangements this year.
“It’s a way to accommodate diverse lifestyles,” he said. “It’s what students are demanding more and more.”
And from D.J. Zissen who is a Junior at OSU…Incidentally, I had the pleasure of supervising D.J. when he was a START Leader a couple of years ago:
D.J. Zissen, a 20-year-old junior at Oregon State University, is spending his second year in a residence hall that includes gender-inclusive rooms. Last year, he said his neighbor was transgender and going through the process of sex reassignment and hormone therapy. No one batted an eye, Zissen said.
“I enjoy that it’s letting us live with whomever we want,” he said.
It’s important to note that students are not ever automatically assigned to gender inclusive housing at OSU. If a student is interested, she/he must request it. If you are are interested in living in gender inclusive housing, you should contact OSU UHDS directly: 541.737.4771.
As a reminder for those of you who have been officially admitted for the fall of 2009 (CONGRATULATIONS!), you are now eligible to apply for housing! You can do so through the University Housing and Dining online application.