Gender Inclusive Housing Options

Gender Inclusive Housing Options

Gender Inclusive Housing Options

The Gender Inclusive Housing Option allows students to choose roommates and share bedrooms, suites, or apartments regardless of sex or gender. The purpose of this policy is to create a campus climate that is welcoming, inclusive, and supportive of all students.

Same-sex room assignments are not ideal or appropriate for all students. Restrictions based on sex and gender often impose living situations that feel unsafe for students who identify as transgender or who do not identify within a gender binary, as well as many gay and lesbian students. These living situations can also increase the likelihood that students will be targets of bias and discrimination. By elimination of gender and sex based restrictions, students are able to choose roommates with whom they are most comfortable living.

This option has been available at Rowan on a limited basis by special request for many years, and students who have utilized this option have found it to be very beneficial. The broader student population has also indicated a strong level of support and comfort with this option. In a 2014 survey of Rowan Students, 71% of respondents indicated they felt students of any gender should be able to share an apartment or suite, and a combined 50% indicated they were somewhat or very likely to select this option if it were available.

Beginning with the Fall 2016 semester this option will be expanded and students will be able to choose their roommate groups and select rooms without restrictions based on sex or gender. This option will be available to students of any class level including new freshmen and transfer students. Locations for this option will include all apartment facilities, as well as the new Holly Pointe Commons residence hall. It will not be available in the traditional residence halls with gender assigned restroom facilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the differences between co-ed and gender-inclusive housing?
The term co-ed operates on the assumption that there are two genders: male and female. Current gender theory acknowledges that for many people, gender is not a binary, and people can identify in ways that do not conform with the gender-binary.
Providing options for gender inclusive housing - as opposed to co-ed – is an approach that allows room for a more diverse array of identities.

What are the due dates to apply for Gender Inclusive Housing?
Applying for the Gender Neutral Housing option is available all year, and room assignment is based on availability at the time of application.

What if a student doesn't’t’ want to live in a Gender Inclusive room?
This option is only for those who specifically agree to it. Students are not required to accept an assignment to a space with a person of another gender.

What if parents/guardians don’t want their student to live in a Gender Inclusive room?
We encourage students to have an open dialogue with their families about their preferences and needs so that they can be supportive of a student’s housing decision. At the University level, students over the age of 18 at the start of the period of their residency are responsible for making their own choices about housing.

What if someone who requested Gender Inclusive Housing decides they no longer wish to do so?
Students may update their preferences in their housing application prior to receiving a room assignment, or request room changes by following the room change processes that are published each semester.

What will happen if a vacancy opens up in Gender Inclusive Housing?
If a vacancy occurs, a student who has requested a Gender Inclusive Assignment may be assigned to the suite/apartment. If the vacancy results in a living group that is single sex/gender and they wish to remain so, any new roommates assigned will be matched based on sex/gender to maintain a single sex/gender living unit.

What will the duration of a Gender Inclusive Housing assignment be?
Participants will commit to living in gender inclusive assignment for the full academic year. Students may re-apply for Gender Inclusive Housing for the following year if they meet housing eligibility requirements.

Where will the Gender Inclusive Housing be located?
All University apartment buildings and the Holly Pointe Commons residence hall will provide options for Gender Inclusive Housing.

Who can participate in Gender Inclusive Housing?
Any student who is interested can request this option.

Will you prevent people who are romantically involved from living together?
Gender Inclusive Housing is not intended for romantic couples. When individuals involved in a romantic relationship live together, it can lead to conflicts among roommates that are difficult to resolve, as well as problems that may arise if the relationship ends. For this reason, the University strongly discourages couples of any gender combination from living together. However, the University respects the privacy of our students, and procedures for Gender Inclusive Housing will not require students to disclose the reason for their roommate requests, or prohibit couples from choosing to live together.

Is this option common at other Universities?
Availability of Gender Inclusive Housing has become much more common in recent years. Many other institutions in New Jersey and across the county offer similar housing options.