RIC Pushes for Different-Sex Roommates
UA Housing officials could implement a new plan that would allow students to choose their roommate, regardless of gender, officials said.
Gender-neutral housing was created to establish diversity and help lesbian, gay, transgender college students feel more comfortable on campus, according to genderblind.org.
“Gender-neutral housing would be beneficial to students who are underrepresented, and it would promote more equality on campus,” said Onnissia Harries, advertising and public relations representative of Residents’ Interhall Congress.
Members of the RIC and Associated Student Government began a committee last semester after both groups passed legislation to look into gender-neutral housing, said RIC President Cameron Mussar.
There is no timeline on when gender-neutral housing could be implemented, but the committee is gathering information, answering questions and establishing an understanding about how the system would work on the UA campus, Mussar said.
The collected data will help members of the committee write a proposal draft by the end of the semester that will eventually be sent to housing for consideration, he said.
In addition to the committee’s research, Mussar plans to survey the students who live on campus “to see where student interest is,” he said.
Gender-neutral housing wouldn’t affect everyone, Mussar said, “but it would open a new option for students who don’t necessarily identify with what their sex is.”
Part of the UA’s mission statement is to have diversity and equality on its campus and gender-neutral housing would show that the UA is true to that statement and accepting of all individuals, Mussar said.
Some students established a campaign called My Room to “bring awareness of gender-neutral housing and emphasize the importance of comfort in one’s home,” said Tyler Overstreet, who is involved in the campaign.
Students involved in the campaign hope to “dispel rumors of the LGBTQ community and teach tolerance,” Harries said.
Members of the campaign also plan to work with LGBTQ organizations on campus like PRIDE and RESPECT, Overstreet said.