Cal State Long Beach will be introducing gender-neutral housing for the first time this fall.
Director of Housing and Residential Life Carol Roberts-Corb said that a limited number of spaces at Beachside College will be reserved for gender-neutral housing, which will be provided to students who request special accommodations on their housing application.
Students interested in the gender-neutral housing can select a new option on their housing application. To complete the request, students must also fill out a supplemental license agreement before being assigned the room.
Roberts-Corb said the gender-neutral dorms will not be physically labeled in effort to create a safe and comfortable environment for all students.
These changes come after the introduction of 11 gender-neutral restrooms on campus last September. We aren’t really surprised, as gender-neutral dorms seem to be the next logical step.
CSULB is one of many campuses across the U.S. that has or will make gender-neutral housing available, including San Diego State and the University of California, Riverside.
The introduction of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus sparked a discussion about providing gender-neutral housing back in September, during the first meeting of the Committee for
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Campus Climate.
DJ Selders, former Associated Students, Inc. Secretary for LGBTQI Affairs, said, “there’s been several students who had to ask, ‘Hey, can I have another LGBT student, specifically, a transgender student [as a roommate?],’” during the September meeting.
Seven months later, we’re excited to see the progress CSULB has made.
Both restrooms and housing are extremely important in creating a comfortable environment for the student, or any individual for that matter.
Although we have been given very little information about the change in housing, we are still proud to see our campus going in this direction. And we’re also curious to see how this will all pan out in March, when housing applications are made available.
Although the details are still being worked out, we do have a few questions: What exactly does gender-neutral mean? Is this for all students, regardless of gender or sexual orientation?
We understand that it’s definitely an improvement for LGBTQI students and that it is of the utmost importance for students to live comfortably and safely, but we need to know what the university means by “gender-neutral.”
Can anyone apply for gender-neutral housing? How does the acceptance process work and how many students will be accepted?
If there is a limited number of rooms, then not all students would be given the opportunity to choose a roommate based on gender.
The limited amount of space available concerns us and we just hope every student who requests a room can get one.
We also wonder where the line for gender-neutral is drawn.
There may be students who want to live with the opposite sex, would this mean they would be eligible for gender-neutral rooms?
The application process seems a little muddled to us right now, but we’re hoping once housing irons out the details, everything will clear up.
Maybe it’s just the title that confuses us, but ultimately, we would like all students to feel safe and comfortable, whatever that entails.