New year welcomes gender inclusive housing

Residential Life approves off-campus gender inclusive housing

By on January 23, 2018

Jeremy Troetti | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
Residential Life announced that gender inclusive housing will be available in 2018 at the end of the fall semester.

This change to Quinnipiac University permits students to live in mixed gender groups.

“A student does not need to disclose their gender and should be able to live with who they choose,” Director of Residential Life Mark DeVilbiss said.

The option will be available to rising juniors and seniors in university-owned, off-campus housing and Whitney Village.

According to an email sent by the Department of Residential Life, they are “committed to developing a living learning environment that contributes to student success.”

The gender inclusive option will work the same way that housing always has for students: they will choose their roommates and living preference. Students will no longer be confined to living with students of the same gender.

The office of Residential Life had been considering gender inclusive housing for a while now. They are excited to finally be able to offer it to students who wish to participate in it, according to DeVilbiss.

Student Government Association (SGA) arranged a proposal to Residential Life. They also met with President John Lahey and Vice President and Dean of Students, Monique Drucker. During these meetings, SGA stressed the importance of gender inclusive housing.

The gender inclusive housing initiative started last year with graduates of SGA who wished to put it together, according to SGA senior class representative Ian Zeitlin.

Zeitlin said the process of gender inclusion is not complete, however. The next step is expanding gender inclusive housing to more students.

All students should be able to opt-in to gender inclusive housing at all years, according to Zeitlin.

“In my eyes, Quinnipiac already has the infrastructure in place to make Gender Inclusive Housing a possibility across the entire campus,” Zeitlin said.

Gender inclusive housing is meant to benefit students and allow them to live in mixed gender groups. This change to the university is meant to increase the options for students.

Freshman film major Will Avery may utilize the new policy next year.

“I would be interested in gender inclusive housing,” Avery said.“I’d be willing to let go of the traditional single-gender style and face something riskier and quintessentially millennial solely for the social aspect of it.”

Freshman occupational therapy major Marissa Donnelly supports the decision to allow gender inclusive housing.

“I feel that in today’s society, women should be allowed to have the choice of living with whoever they want,” Donnelly said.

In the past, Residential Life met the needs of students on a case-by-case basis. Now they are able to offer more comprehensive housing.

“Student’s feedback is very important to us in a broad based way,” DeVilbiss said.

He believes that gender inclusive housing will have a positive effect on the students’ living environment. Although there could potentially be some problems along the way, Residential Life is prepared.

“I think the only problem would be if parents didn’t want their children rooming with the opposite sex. Especially fathers with their daughters,” freshman psychology major Char’Nae Epps said.

Epps said she believes that gender inclusive housing is a positive change to Quinnipiac because certain students might feel more comfortable around a certain gender.

Gender inclusive housing is only available for upperclassmen as of right now, but the ultimate goal is to have all suite style housing available for the program, according to Zeitlin.

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