Utah State University will allow students who live in on-campus residential housing to request gender-inclusive housing arrangements beginning this year.
Traditional, same-sex room assignments are not ideal or appropriate for all students, and this flexibility will allow USU Housing Services to meet the needs of students who for various reasons feel uncomfortable under the current room assignment practices.
“This procedure helps create a climate that acknowledges, appreciates, and respects the diverse nature of the USU student body, while giving students more options in finding a roommate who is truly compatible,” said Erika-Danielle Lindström, gender and sexuality coordinator in USU’s Inclusion Center.
This option will be available to all full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate and graduate students through the housing selection process. Students are eligible to apply for housing once they have paid their housing deposit by the established deadline and have agreed to a one-year housing contract.
The new option was approved by university administration for a one-year trial beginning in fall 2022. In January 2023, a formal review will begin, and information gathered will be used to make changes to the housing selection process and for implementation of the program for the 2023-24 academic year. As with all Residence Life policies, gender-inclusive housing will be continuously reviewed and improved to most effectively meet students’ needs.
“Providing a gender-inclusive housing option has been a goal of ours for years, and I’m thrilled have our proposal approved,” said Whit Milligan, director of Residence Life at USU. “It’s important to be able to offer this to our students. The Residence Life staff is ready to embrace this opportunity to create a strong, gender inclusive, living community during this pilot year and, hopefully, beyond.”
Students who may be interested in this option include those who feel uncomfortable rooming with members of the same sex; transgender and gender non-conforming students; students who feel they would be more compatible with a roommate of a different sex or gender; and students who do not want sex or gender to be a primary factor in choosing a roommate.
All students who take advantage of the new program must enter into any roommate arrangement as a willing partner. Students can select their own roommate through the process, and those requests will be fulfilled based on availability of space at the time.
The sign-up process for gender-inclusive housing will open March 15, 2022.
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