Gender Inclusive housing offered on campus
Sofia Rositani – Arts & Entertainment Editor
Gender inclusive housing is a resource on campus that from what I have noticed not many people know about.
“Gender-Inclusive Housing allows students, in mutual agreement, to share a multiple-occupancy room or suite/apartment, regardless of the students’ biological sex or gender identities,” according to the university website.
When I signed up to do gender inclusive housing, I did not realize how little options students had when choosing this option. Reading about this on the website, there is not a lot about it which is annoying for students or potential students who are interested in this option of housing.
If you are a first-year student coming into the university wanting to know more about gender inclusive housing, it is hard-to-find information on it. I found out this semester from a friend that the only place a first-year student can live in on campus with gender inclusive housing is the first floor of Chase Hall. That is so annoying because as someone who is very picky about where they live, having only one floor to pick from with a limited number of rooms is not okay for a student to have.
As an upperclassman, picking apartment style dorms and suites is also a hardship because the university gives students a limited number of dorms to choose from in the hall they want to stay at. So for example, when I picked, I only had two rooms to pick from, out of the entire dormitory under gender inclusive housing. That is not fair because we are basically being told that we only have two or three options to pick out of while people who are not under this option can pick any dorm room they want from any dormitory.
It is especially not fair to the LGBTQIA+ students who do not feel comfortable dorming with someone who is not their gender because the university will put you with your assigned gender and some students may have yet to change their assigned gender which makes it harder for them to choose.
At Eastern Connecticut State University, their dorms have themes, very similar to Southerns dormitories, but this one offers one dormitory to gender inclusive housing, aka the Pride House.
“This community will serve as a supportive and welcoming environment for students who have an interest in being as inclusive as possible as it pertains to gender identities and gender expression and would find comfort in living with others who have similar interests,” according to Eastern’s website. “Students within this community will have the option of receiving support from Campus Safe Space Allies as well as the Pride Room. This community is located in Mead Hall.”
In an article by the Southern News in 2015, Robert DeMezzo, head of Residence Life, said that gender inclusive housing was created to make students feel safer in their own living quarters on campus.
“We expect there to be more students asking for such housing in coming years, and Southern is ready to expand the housing situation for students who would require it or wish it,” DeMezzo said in the article
, “We are very open to talking with any student who wishes for this sort of housing, they need only contact us.”
Now that there are more students using this rooming assignment, including first years, there should be a better way to implement this on campus without giving so little housing options for students who pay to live in the dorms. There should definitely be more done to make this easier and better for students who live on campus now and the incoming freshmen who may want to use gender inclusive housing .