Students may choose to live in gender-neutral housing. This policy allows two or more students to share a multiple-occupancy bedroom, suite, or apartment regardless of students' sex or gender. Gender-neutral housing is not intended for romantic couples. Rather, it provides options for a variety of students: those who feel uncomfortable rooming with members of the same sex, transgender students in the process of discovering their gender identity, 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. Gender-neutral housing intends to help create a campus climate that is welcoming, inclusive, and supportive of all students.
The material below reviews Gettysburg College's approach to gender-neutral housing for upperclass students. Gender-neutral housing is available in all halls for sophomores, juniors, and seniors through the spring housing selection process.
Gender-neutral housing is also available to first-year and transfer students. Each June, incoming first-year and transfer students will have the option of selecting gender-neutral housing via the First-Year Dashboard. Interested first-year and transfer students will have a conversation with a Residential Education professional staff member so that the College can provide housing that best meets the needs of the student.
Gender-Neutral Housing Policy
The following policy and conditions are applicable to students who elect to live in a gender-neutral space.
- Students may choose to request a roommate of any sex or gender.
- As with all roommate requests, the Office of Residential Education will only honor those requests made by all parties living within the same living space (i.e. room, apartment, suite).
- Upperclass students must apply with their prospective roommate(s) following the same processes and deadlines of all students entering the housing selection process.
- Upperclass students will not be required to reveal their reasons for opting to live in gender-neutral housing.
- Students will not be assigned to gender-neutral housing unless they have elected to do so.
- This housing option is intended for students who wish to share a room, suite, or apartment with friends regardless of gender identity. It is not intended for romantic couples. It is not recommended or encouraged that any couple, heterosexual or LBGTQA, rush into living together on or off campus nor is it the intention of this policy. There are some upper college students who have chosen to live together and are in a relationship. The majority of upper college gender neutral room assignments are friends with similar living habits, regardless of gender. It is not recommended or encouraged that any couple, heterosexual or LGBTQA, live together.
- There is no specific number or limit of gender-neutral spaces on campus.
- We encourage students to maintain an open dialogue with their families. Students over 18 are legally able to make decisions about their housing placements.
- Any space on campus can be gender-neutral. This avoids segregation and offers students gender-neutral housing within all housing styles and at the various housing price points. The default designation for a room, apartment, or suite will be single-sex unless the students selecting into the space opt to create a gender-neutral pair/group. Once a room, apartment, suite is gender-neutral that space will continue to be gender-neutral as long as the residents can maintain the occupancy of the living space.
- When there is a vacancy in a stand-alone gender-neutral double, the student remaining in the room may elect to pull in any new roommate. If the resident wants to maintain a gender-neutral space but cannot identify a new roommate, the Office of Residential Education will try to identify a student interested in gender-neutral housing. Both students must agree to live together. If a roommate can not be identified, the room will default back to single-sex status. In this case, the Office of Residential Education may place a student of the same sex in the room.
- When there is vacancy in a gender-neutral triple, apartment, or suite, the residents may elect to pull in any roommate(s). All students in the space have to approve new resident(s) moving into the triple, apartment, or suite. If the residents in a triple, apartment or suite, cannot fill the vacancies, the Office of Residential Education will first attempt to place students in the apartment or suite who are interested in living in a gender-neutral space. Current residents will be asked to approve the students interested in moving into the space. If the Office of Residential Education needs to maximize use of all available spaces on campus and the above is not possible, then the Office of Residential Education staff will work closely with the student group to determine next steps. Two options that the Office of Residential Education staff will try to avoid include: 1) Relocating the gender-neutral group to another location that accommodates the group’s new size, 2) Split the group in order to create two single-sex groups and fill vacancies with students of the same sex.
Gender-Neutral Housing Proposal (PDF)(Approved Fall 2011)