Housing may go gender-neutral

Administrators are nearing a decision on a gender-neutral housing proposal that could be implemented as soon as next fall.

The Committee on Gender-Neutral Housing will present its recommendations to residential college masters in a meeting today. Although the four members of the committee would not comment on the specifics of the recommendations, two members said a change in the University’s current policy, which prohibits mixed-gender housing, may occur as soon as the upcoming housing cycle. Maria Trumpler, special assistant to the deans for LGBTQ affairs, said she expects the measure to gain support among the Council of Masters and administrators.

Yale College Dean Mary Miller said in an interview Thursday night that while she was initially “skeptical” of the idea, her views on the proposal have shifted.

“As I’ve learned more about the success of mixed gender housing at other universities, I have become more open to the idea that it can happen here,” Miller said, adding that her personal feelings are less important than the opinions of the twelve residential college masters.

If any policy change is made, it will apply to all 12 colleges, Trumpler said.

“We want to make sure that whatever option works out works in all of the colleges, not just one or two of the colleges,” Trumpler said. “We also want it to work out equitably.”

Two committee members — chair John Meeske ’74, the associate dean for physical resources and planning, and Council of Masters Chair Judith Krauss — said they could not confirm with certainty whether administrators will decide to approve a gender-neutral housing policy. But both said that if the proposal meets with widespread approval among residential college masters and administrators, the changes could be implemented in time for the 2009-’10 academic year.

For her part, Trumpler said she thinks the proposal will be well-received by an increasing number of masters and administrators.

“We’re expecting that a broad base of support will emerge,” Trumpler said in an interview Wednesday.

The Committee on Gender-Neutral Housing was convened in fall 2007 after two Ivy League housing conferences revealed that all but two Ivy League universities, Princeton and Yale, had yet to implement some form of gender-neutral housing. The committee consists of Meeske, Krauss, Trumpler and Dean of Student Affairs Marichal Gentry.

The procedure for approving gender-neutral housing is unclear, given that the policy move would be unprecedented at Yale. What is clear, however, is that the support of the residential college masters and University President Richard Levin is necessary for a housing change to be passed, Meeske said.

Krauss agreed, adding that the Council of Master’s verdict will be essential.

“[Masters] are a critical stakeholder,” Krauss said. “People are going to listen to what they have to say.”

But because the housing rules are in the undergraduate regulations, Krauss added, the final approval must come from Yale College Dean Mary Miller.

Yale’s residential college system complicates the implementation of gender-neutral housing. While other universities can designate one dorm or one floor as gender-neutral, Yale’s housing system precludes a similar solution, Trumpler said.

Harvard University’s house system presents similar problems. Harvard implemented a limited form of gender-neutral housing in 2007 on a suite-by-suite basis for those who self-identify as transgender. But some take issue with this case-by-case approval, Trumpler said.

“We would like to avoid that,” Trumpler said. “We think people shouldn’t have to justify their reasons.”

Yoshi Shapiro ’11, co-coordinator of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Cooperative at Yale, agreed that gender-neutral housing is not solely in the interests of transsexual or queer students.

“I think it’s also for gay students and straight students alike,” Shapiro said. “There definitely are male and female friends that would like to live with each other.”

Five students interviewed all said they would support a gender-neutral housing policy at Yale.

“As long as you don’t have to be in gender-neutral housing, that’s all right,” Michelle Wolfe ’11 said.

Emma Sloan ’10 said she strongly supported making Yale’s housing gender-neutral because she believes the idea that men and women are necessarily attracted to the opposite sex is “antiquated.”

Shapiro, at least, is hopeful that this “antiquated” idea is on the way out.

“I think it is going to pass in the next couple years. I think [Yale is] behind the times on this issue,” Shapiro said. “The administration is in a good place right now.”

Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania were the first Ivy League schools to provide gender-neutral housing options in 2003 and 2004, respectively. Harvard and Cornell universities and Dartmouth College followed in 2007.

Raymond Carlson contributed reporting.

Comments

  • Pierson 90

    Sure. Why not? Might as well let perversion and sexual deviancy run amok in the residence halls. Yale gave up all pretence of acting in loco parentis decades ago.

  • Haydon

    In loco parentis? Surely Yale undergraduates, most of whom are 18 years old or older, do not need anybody acting in the stead of their parents. Yale is a university, not a kindergarten or nursery school.

  • Anonymous

    this is ridiculous. is there even ONE transgender person at Yale? YDN need to answer that question.

  • Rachel Schiff

    I mean, the person above me is joking right?

    Gender-neutral housing will not be required for all students but it will become an option--this immediately effects trans or transitioning students whose gender is either in flux, or is constantly questioned by others unfairly, to sideline any unfair comments or remarks. This also affects gay and straight individuals who want to live with their best friends, irrespective of gender.

    Glad Yale is finally taking a step in the right direction.

  • Yale 08

    This is shameful. Yale is tarnishing itself with this kind of gender-bending nonsense.

  • Hieronymus

    Will Yale maintain separate bathroom facilities outside of college housing?

    I mean: women made uncomfortable by (apparent) men in the bathroom are just expressing their bigotry, right?

  • 76h2w

    Do the proponents think they are fooling anyone with the "transgender stuff? Its just Shack Up U. Very silly.

    If it IS for transgender reasons(how many students out of about 5200 undergrads are transgender? 1? 2?) to paraphrase Churchill: "Never has so much fricking time and energy (and no doubt money) been expended by so many for so few."

    Emma says:
    "Emma Sloan ’10 said she strongly supported making Yale’s housing gender-neutral because she believes the idea that men and women are necessarily attracted to the opposite sex is “antiquated.”

    Yo, Emma. Go watch "When Harry Met Sally" this weekend with Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal. The moral of the story at the end is that we guys can have gal pals, but at the end of the day, we want to hump them. Sorry, but guys will always want to be humping even their gal pals unless the guy is gay. Its hardwired. We can't help it. Hardwired biology ain't "antiquated." Its just the way it is.

  • Spherical Cow

    Dean Miller and Yale need to take this step. Not to do so is shameful.

    There are no legitimate arguments against it. As evidenced by the above comments, everyone against the change is bigoted, making specious arguments about sexuality with no basis in reality.

    The only other arguments are that men and women living in the same suite would lead to a) more sexual assault, or b) break-ups of boy/girlfriends would lead to really awkward situations.

    On a), this is simply not true. Men and women who CHOOSE to share a suite/room are going to much more respectful of each other and comfrotable than the average hook-up on Saturday night.

    On b), Yale is not our parent. Guys and girls live together now, and when they breakup, they deal with it.

  • @#3

    Yes, there are transgendered people at Yale. Some are out, some aren't. And no, the YDN doesn't need to go finding them, for all kinds of reasons, but above all, because they deserve their privacy.

    Moreover, as was mentioned in the article, this isn't just to help out transgendered people. All kinds of people, even straight people, will benefit from being able to make these kinds of choices for themselves.

  • '10

    Considering trans students is essential, but for many of us, the more pressing reason gender neutral housing is important is that people of different genders can live well together. We can already share bathrooms and visit each others' rooms at any hour of the day or night. Honestly having rooms off the same common room probably won't lead to any more "sexual deviance" than having rooms off the same hallway, but it will allow us to have more options when choosing who to live with, a process that can become very difficult because of the limited number of people with the same college, year, and gender, and the constraints of housing configurations available in each residential college.

  • Recent Alum

    Always hilarious when a small group comprising far less than 1% of the Yale student body sets up the policy for the entire student body.

  • Dan

    I fail to see how gender neutral housing is at all controversial. Isn't it just a more inclusive version of coed dorms, which have been standard at lots of great schools for decades? Am I missing something here?

  • Anonymous

    In the real world, you can live with someone of a different gender. Why not at Yale?

  • Alum

    .… hmmm

    When the admissions office issues the gender breakdown for applicants (currently about 55% female and 45% male) will it henceforth make adjustments by breaking out the "transgendered" into a separate category?

  • Hiero II

    "As evidenced by the above comments, everyone against the change is bigoted"

    LOLL

  • sigh

    Maybe when Yale follows the rest of the Ivies and finally implements gender-neutral housing, as it should, that will help some of the clueless people writing comments on this thread learn that it is <i>just not that big of a deal</i> to allow students to live with others, regardless of sex. Honestly, people. It's as though some of you are stuck in the 1950s.

    And to the especially dumb dude above at #7 who said he thinks it's "hardwired" that he wants to "hump" all his female friends, I say: don't worry, dude. None of your female friends will be living with you. Ever. The point of gender-neutral housing is to let people live with whoever makes them most comfortable. You're not it -- the rest of us can tell your type a mile away.

  • @ Hieronymus

    Yes, Hieronymus, mixed bathrooms would be the end of Yale as we know it. What is a woman to do?

    Just FYI, Yale has had mixed-gender bathrooms for a long, long time (at lease since I was a freshman in 2001). It hasn't been a problem.

    Furthermore, anyone can name their floor (and thus their bathroom) single-sex if they want to during the room draw process.

  • simple

    If the suitemates I feel most comfortable living with are not all the same sex, right now, Yale just makes me move off campus.

    What good is that supposed to do exactly?

    It's hard to believe there are people who seriously want to debate this issue. It's obvious that Yale should allow students to live with whichever other students they prefer.

    If you really care about living with people of the same sex, then please do so. Nobody's stopping you.

    All the purported arguments against gender-neutral housing are unbelievably stupid.

  • hmm…

    Reading this comment thread, it appears that some people think it's very important to live with others of the same sex.

    I think that's a little silly, but you know what? I'm not going to stop you. Live only with others of the same sex, if that's what you want to do. Go ahead!

    And in return, how about you don't stop me from living with who _I_ want to live with? Deal? Good.

    That's gender-neutral housing in a nutshell, folks. Live and let live.

  • Yale '00

    To the bathroom-obsessed comments above:

    There were coed bathrooms at Yale when I started in fall 1996, and probably for a long, long time before that. It's not a big deal. Yalies generally are mature enough to handle this.

    I'm kind of incredulous that some commenters want to start freaking out about the idea of coed bathrooms NOW, in 2009. Um… that train left the station decades ago. You missed it.

  • anonymouse

    i am <i>anxious<i> about having coed bathrooms when i excuse my french need to defacate. in fact, in the past i have had problems doing this when there were members of the opposite sex around. to be perfectly frank, i think ohers feel the same way and for basic health this must be taken into consideration.

  • Hieronymus

    To e.g., #17, #20

    Where was I unclear? My question was not with regard to the dorms, but to the non-dorm facilities.

    Let me be clearer: isn't it hypocritical--and insensitive, and bigoted--that WOOLSEY and Linsley-Chit and LAW have gender-specific bathrooms?

  • Bosch

    I think H's point was that Yale's next logical step should be to abolish gender-specific bathrooms in other University facilities (classroom/staff buildings) if it's really walking the walk on this idea. His unbearable smugness notwithstanding, it's a reasonable question. Of course, some of us have always taken those distinctions as more guidelines than rules anyway.

  • Lana

    Does Yale feel it needs to follow the pack
    just because other institutions are doing this?
    I though Yale was supposed to be a "leader".

    Yale seems to concerned with the popular thing to do rather than what is right.

  • on topic, please

    I refuse to let some smug and stupid troll hijack a discussion of gender-neutral housing, the subject of this story, and switch to talking about bathrooms that are not even in dormitories at all. Yes, there are good arguments for at a minimum making available some gender-neutral, single-stall bathroom facilities in all buildings; this has actually been done in many Yale facilities including the law school (shock! horror!) where formerly the single-stall bathrooms were labelled "men's" and "women's," but are not anymore; this has benefits for transgender students but also for others. However, all that is a completely separate topic.

    This story is about gender-neutral HOUSING.

    It is about students, not just transgender students, having the freedom to live with the people they want to live with. If right-wing trolls want to object to that with arguments that are actually on-topic, fine. Let's discuss. Bathrooms in dormitories also have something to do with the topic at hand, gender-neutral housing, and so I think the commenters above were giving "Hieronymus" the benefit of the doubt -- they were taking him to be making a somewhat on-topic, or at least closely-related-to-the-topic, comment about bathrooms that are connected in some direct way to the gender-neutral housing. Now it's clear from his follow up @20 (if indeed that was the same person) that the rest of us were giving him far too much credit.

    If all you have to say against gender-neutral housing is "uh, but what about the bathrooms in Linsley-Chit?" then I think it's fair to say the argument is over, and you've lost.

  • T.R

    I think the lasting legacy of liberal policies are the self segregation of many universities and other academic institutions. I'm amazed at the groups that yell for inclusion wall themselves in and promote their seperation. It seems to me that if you want don't want people to "fear" on the campus then live among them, do not force them to fund for your isolation.

  • archive this page

    Someday in the future, people will look back and find it very hard to understand why, at one time, Yale College actually insisted on segregating student dormitory suites by gender. Maybe some researcher will stumble on this comment thread and get some useful anecdotes about the illogical arguments people made for continuing the policy of segregation, from fears of (increased) licentiousness to disbelief that transgender students actually exist. If so, then this page of comments will have served some useful purpose. Absent that, it's hard for me to see that this page serves much of a purpose. None of the arguments people have tried to raise so far against gender-neutral housing even seem real enough to be worth discussing. They're just pathetic.

    This question is a really easy one, and I'm surprised Yale does not yet have gender-neutral housing. But it sounds like this will be corrected soon.

  • Hieronymus

    In the "we're all equal world," I hope that Yale will also give up its misguided and bigoted policy of reserving certain areas (e.g., first floor rooms) just for females…

    Let's see, what other hypocritical expediencies does Yale endorse?

  • self-segregation

    @26,

    What does your post have to do with gender-neutral housing?

    If the point is that even after we get gender-neutral housing, most people will still self-segregate by sex, then I think that's probably right. That's where our culture is right now.

    And that's just fine. As some of the commenters above said: if you want to live only with people of the same sex, nobody's stopping you!

  • Y11

    On the most relevant level, this doesn't have a ton to do with transgender students. Guys have friends who are girls and vice-versa. Often, these people would like to live with one another. No big deal. No pack-following or liberal revolution. Relax.

  • Devin

    @24

    Where've you been for the past twenty-five years? The top-30 are lemmings. Thank you US News.

    That said:
    I think this is a step in the right direction. ALL other arguments aside, we cannot deny that some people have Best Friends of the opposite gender. It is no shame or wrongdoing to want to live in close proximity to them.

  • Yale 05

    People need to get over themselves. This change should have happened years ago.

    My junior year myself and some friends purposefully drew a suite that shared a landing (and bathroom) with a suite of our opposite gender friends. The other suite had no living room. We did. Guess what happened? One large, happy, mixed gender living space.

    I have no doubt that similar informal situations have been arranged for years in housing draws. Its time to simplify/formalize the process. Most Yalies are intelligent (!) enough to choose situations that they are comfortable in. The housing process should support that.

  • Yale '00

    @28, Hieronymous - please just give it up already. You are embarrassing yourself.

    Sure, of course it is crazy to reserve "first floor rooms" for women. In my day at Yale they were reserved just for men, on Old Campus. Either way, that kind of pointless sex segregation has no legitimate justification.

    But the bigger point, as @25 said above, is this: if all you can come up with to say against gender-neutral housing amounts to "um, here's some other Yale policy that takes gender into account in some way -- I'm pretty clever, huh?"
    … then it's safe to say the argument about gender-neutral housing is over, and you've lost.

  • K

    Please, Yale, just let me live with who I want to live with!

    The time for BS is over. Gender-neutral housing, please.

  • Hieronymus

    Such ass-umptions! I do not believe I have ever stated that I am *against* gender neutral housing, per se. I can find no rational argument against it; indeed, I would likely support it for mere selfish reasons. What bothers me is that I doubt the policy will be implemented universally (a.k.a. fairly or, sometimes, honestly).

    Will this simply be a policy laid on top of others (e.g., first-floor reservation and the bathroom thing)? Will blocs of students be allowed to skew room draw (thinking back to the case of Yale's public humiliation of Orthodox Jews that wanted and were refused a single-sex section of an entryway, e.g.).

    Here is a counterpoint (and one to which I do not subscribe): all this talk of "we're all adults" etc. etc. Who, exactly is PAYING for your education? If you, well then, have at it! If Mommy and Daddy, well, then, shouldn't THEY have a seat at the table? If Yale--a likely scenario for many--and you have ACCEPTED Yale's offer (and money) then shouldn't you be somewhat less critical of your benefactor? (The last is a somewhat weaker perspective, but has applicaiton outside of the current case).

    Troll? That one I accept, and with glee. Right wing? How droll! How dull… I suppose you pigeonhole David Horowitz as a narrow-minded right winger? Grow some… perspective.

  • Anonymous

    Hieronymus-

    I'm not sure what the idea behind the first floor policy is/was, but it's not being enforced, at least not in my college. I know men and women who have lived on the first floor without issue.

    What troubles with implementation do you foresee? Are you worried about people who would want single-sex entry-ways or floors no longer being able to have that? I think you need to be more specific, because, judging by the responses to your posts, you're confusing people.

    Anyway, I know you don't subscribe to the counterpoint you mentioned, but I think conditions concerning the payment of tuition ought to be sorted out between parent and student. I know several students whose parents will only pay tuition on condition that they major in something practical, like engineering or economics. It's reasonable to work out deals like that between family members. It would not be reasonable to object to the existence of the humanities major because your child might, gasp, major in humanities. I think the same logic applies to housing. If you want your child to live only with members of the same sex, then you need to work that out with your child, not the university. And if some students want to accept their parents' money without respecting their wishes, well, that's on their conscience, not Yale's.

  • the parent argument

    If parents are so fearful that they do not wish send their precious little Madison or Jayden to the den of sin that gender-neutral housing represents in their overactive imaginations, then it seems unlikely that they would let their kid brave the wilds of scary, dangerous, not-all-white New Haven anyway. Those kids are headed straight to Princeton, NJ, for a much more gender-segregated (and townie-free) Ivy League experience.

    (BTW, I say Princeton is gender-segregated not only because Princeton is the only Ivy that will remain without a gender-neutral housing policy after Yale implements one. That's true, but it's a bigger point. Princeton has a remarkably gender-segregated social environment, unlike any other school I know. I would bet there are fewer [non-romantic] friendships between men and women there than at any other Ivy.)

    If gender-neutral housing turns off some prospective students -- who, even though they will be able to live only with people of the same sex if they so choose, simply want to avoid an "atmosphere" of gender-neutrality -- then please, Princeton, take those people off our hands! They're perfect for you.

    And finally, to those who wonder why they don't know so many trans students on campus, one reason is you probably didn't notice them, but another reason is that a fair number may have chosen to go to Harvard or some other Ivy League school where there was a gender-neutral housing policy.

  • Recent Alum

    I can understand that men may want to live with female friends and women may want to live with male friends, and everything else being equal this would be enough for me to support the policy. However, we all know that this is not why people are pushing for this policy; rather, people are pushing for this policy because of pressures by a group that comprises less than 1% of the student body. This is why I feel that we should oppose this policy at the moment.

  • Rachel

    Relax, Jay. You're derailing the conversation again.

  • curious

    Who are you Heironymus? You pop up when there's a controversial story. Are you a student, alum, faculty, or parent? What is your interest in Yale?

  • egalitarian

    #38 ("Recent Alum"), Your argument is nonsensical. Most yalies support gender-neutral housing. It will allow everyone to live with whom they choose. For trans students, the issue is even more critical. The current housing policy treats trans students in ways that are obviously pretty unfair. That ADDS to the case for gender-neutral housing. How on earth do you see it as a reason to _oppose_ the change?

    I guess the more basic question is: how does a few students' desire for fair treatment constitute "pressure" on anyone? How did trans students -- who are, remember, a minority sufficiently small and silent that some of your more clueless colleagues deny this group exists at all -- get so powerful that all the rest of us kowtow to their "pressures"? Please let me in on their secret formula, whereby, in your view, a tiny group of students can magically "pressure" me and the rest of the majority of Yalies into supporting gender-neutral housing -- which you imagine we are supporting primarily because of this phantom "pressure."

  • current student

    i hate to break up the debate…but does anyone know how the meeting actually went on Friday? Is the university planning on actually telling us anything soon?

  • Elizabeth Moore '09

    Like with any policy based on more liberal attitudes of the times, the gender-neutral housing policy demands we respect the desires of people to live with whom they want to live with, but it simultaneously neglects the desires of people who still prefer to live with those of their own gender and accuses these personal desires as being bigoted, which is simply incorrect.

    Since when is it wrong to want to live with people of the same sex? As a woman (engaged to be married no less), I feel awkward when men who I don't know at all or know very little are around in my suite or bathroom. I like the ability to walk around in my pajamas without feeling self conscious or feeling like I need to cover up all the time just to walk outside my room or to the bathroom, for fear of a man seeing me in something I do not feel is appropriate for him to be seeing me in. Similarly, I don't want to be in a towel in the bathroom wondering if a man is going to accidentally see something he shouldn't. I don't like the idea of taking care of my more womanly issues within the open company of unknown men, for one thing because the idea just makes me uncomfortable, but I do not think it is "antiquated" or "bigoted" to suggest that the personal care, hygiene, and comfort issues of men and women are in fact personal and different and thus should be kept separate.

    If people are so bent out of shape about not being able to live with members of the opposite gender, they are more than welcome to move off campus and arrange for whatever new-age living conditions they presume. However, I should not be subjected or forced to live with members of the opposite gender if I do not want, which could happen given room draw situations. For two out of my three years of Yale housing, I was forced to live with people I myself did not choose (or even know for that matter), just because of how the rooming situations worked out. One of these years, I was forced to live on a co-ed floor in which men and women shared a bathroom, and yes, it was personally awkward for me and I had no control over the situation. Assuming this could also happen under a gender neutral policy, I, as somebody who absolutely would not approve of living in the same suite with strange/unknown men, could potentially be forced to live in this situation without a choice, and this is not a fair situation to me because I would personally consider it awkward and inappropriate to be living in the same suite as men.

    The desires of people like me should not be so easily tossed aside and labeled as antiquated or bigoted. These desires are merely personal (and in some cases may actually have religious, cultural, or proprietary reasons for existing), and if the gender neutral housing policy claims to respect the desires of all individuals, it needs to also respect the desires of those against the policy, and if implemented (which I seriously hope it isn’t), it needs to at least allow for the availability of guaranteed single-gendered housing (regardless of room draw situations) for those who request it and not force anybody into a situation that would be against personal convictions.

  • yaylie

    Wow! I'm so excited about the coed showers I'll be taking! I'm starting to feel like a 21st century Jack Tripper already. Seriously though, let's stop with all this nonsense before Fox News catches wind of it and scares away the remaining 9% of competent conservative students who still plan to apply here. Besides, I'm sure there's more vacant medical singles on campus right now than there are heshes.

  • Wow

    @#43

    Wow. You go girl!

    Not as eloquent but I, for one, have never like the whole supposed fungibility of male/female parts, personae, and persons.

    Something to be cherished has, instead, been discarded. Of course, most do not even know what it was.

    The sexes are equal (under the law), but definitely not the same.

  • Y09

    As much as I am partially against this program, I am also against the argument posited by Elizabeth Moore 09. If you don't want men to see you in college, "get thee to a nunnery," ms. Moore. Seriously, it's definitely not going to be pertinent to him.

  • Elizabeth Moore '09

    To Y09,

    There is a difference between "not wanting men to see [me] in college" and simply not wanting to feel awkward or uncomfortable walking around, ungroomed without makeup in a tank top and shorts, within my own supposed home, a private space. I do not think it is an unreasonable desire to want to groom, dress, clean, and simply live within the company of women, as a woman, one particular reason being that I would not feel comfortable wearing possibly revealing pajamas/shower attire repeatedly around men I didn't even know who I was forced to live with. And it would sure seem unreasonable to suggest that I need to layer and cover up simply to feel comfortable enough to walk around my own house. Maybe I could just consider investing in a burqa made out of a light cotton material to wear during the uncomfortable September nights in the un-airconditioned dorms.

    If being too modest is my only vice, I'm happy to say I'm quite proud of that. I'm sure my fiance appreciates it, too. Really though, I see no problem in simply wishing to preserve a certain degree of privacy between males and females, or having a housing policy that honors the wishes of those who wish to maintain that privacy.

    In theory, I would have less of a problem with the whole idea if people could be 100% assured, regardless of room draw/clipping situations, of single-gendered housing upon request. However, my experience with the rooming system and the school's general 'progressive' agenda makes me wary of believing this would be the case.

  • Hiero II

    The entire point of Hieronymous' analogy to single-sex public restrooms is that gender segregation has legitimate purpose. After all, I see few people advocating a desegregation of the LC bathrooms. What do the transgender students do then? Presumably they choose one bathroom and don't really care all that much.

    And Ms. Moore is right that once the barriers come down to gender-neutral housing, it will be inevitably forced upon some individuals (ie: the ones who have no one else to live with, the groups who lost out on room draw, freshmen).

  • Timing is everything

    @24 "Does Yale feel it needs to follow the pack

    just because other institutions are doing this?

    I though Yale was supposed to be a "leader".

    Yale seems to concerned with the popular thing to do rather than what is right."

    …let's thank our stars that you, Lana, were not sitting on the board of the Yale Corp when they were deciding whether or not to go co-ed because "others were doing it".

  • CC '11

    Oh for goodness sakes. The last few posts on this thread make me very sad. Elizabeth et al, the way gender neutral housing works at most colleges and universities is that on your housing sheet there's a little box that asks you which genders you would feel comfortable living with. No one gets forced to live with *people of a different sex* if they don't way to. I understand you want to be comfortable - but your comfort will absolutely be protected in this process. It's the comfort of the rest of us that's being debated right now. (And "the rest of us" is a very large group indeed.)

    Also, to the people who were talking about Trans students being a small percentage of the overall Yale population - so what? The facts that plenty of non-Trans students want gender neutral housing notwithstanding, since when did our values become "if the minority group is small enough, the people in it don't need rights"? Do you people listen to yourselves speak?

  • Hieronymus

    Good point # 50. I look forward to the Islamic viewpoint and to seeing how Yale includes shari'ah concerns in it accommodations.

    At the risk of going off topic: how do folks reconcile the desire for all-sex dorms with, say, single-sex gym hours (e.g., at Harvard)? Is that advancing liberal ideals too?

  • Elizabeth Moore '09

    To CC'11,

    I direct you to what I wrote previously:
    In theory, I would have less of a problem with the whole idea if people could be 100% assured, regardless of room draw/clipping situations, of single-gendered housing upon request. However, my experience with the rooming system and the school's general 'progressive' agenda makes me wary of believing this would be the case.

    Given how I have been forced to live with unknown people before, and given how the current situation works regarding living on a single sex floor (as far as I understand, you are basically required to find X other groups and decide, as separate rooms, that you all want to live on the same floor), I am hesitant to believe, given a mixed gender housing policy, that people who wanted single-gender housing could be 100% assured of that, regardless of the rooming situation. As Hiero II said, there are often people who end up by themselves or with only one other person around room draw time, and what would those disapproving people do if the only available groups to join were mixed gender? Should they now be forced to move off campus simply because they don't believe (for personal, cultural, or religious reasons) it appropiate to be in a mixed gender suite?

    If the trans community that approves of this form of housing is a minority voice that needs to be heard, surely the community of people against the mixed gender idea is also a minority voice that needs to be heard. And by your logic, if the group against the policy is even smaller than the group of trans students, we apparently deserve to be listened to just as seriously.

  • #50

    Hey Elizabeth,

    I hear you. It sucks that the rooming draw has not always worked out in ways that make you feel comfortable, and clearly Yale needs to do its best to make sure this campus is a safe space for everyone. I didn't mean to disparage your concerns; it's never fun to feel uncomfortable in your home.

    I guess what I was saying is that gender-neutral housing policies at other schools take into account that some students only want to live with people of the same gender, and they ensure that these wishes are honored. Maybe not to the point of gender-segregating an entire hallway, but certainly within a single bedroom. You and people who agree with you DO deserve to be listened to - of course. Just because the particular discomfort you express is considered more conventional or traditional, however, does not make it any less real than that of trans students and the many other students who are not trans but want to live with friends of a different gender. I think we both know this, and it sounds like your concern is that people will get hurt in practice. I hope this is not the case; there are certainly many ways in which it is entirely preventable, and given Yale's er … pace … on these issues, I have a lot of confidence that whatever system does get implemented will protect your comfort. Even so, however, what you're describing is how a poorly implemented system could potentially hurt people - what we have now is an efficiently implemented system that is by its nature hurtful. I'm putting my hopes with a new system that is carefully implemented such that no one gets hurt - and such that everyone who wants to live with their friends can, regardless of gender.

    -Alex

  • '11

    Keep trying guys. Justify perversion under any glorious banner like liberalism as you can think of.

  • br

    to elizabeth et al.:

    just so you know, bathrooms are already neutral. i know this as it is the case with mine. so gender-neutral housing wouldn't actually change that.

  • Response to #1

    "Deviancy" is not a word.

  • Gay '10

    The issue isn't even just about trans people. Sex segregation is based on the idea that all people are heterosexual and their interactions with others are predicated on their sexual orientation. The fact is, especially at Yale, a ton of us AREN'T heterosexual so the single-sex housing system doesn't make any sense. I feel MUCH more comfortable around women than around (straight and gay) men. As the gender-neutral housing policy sets out to correct this heteronormative bias, I can't imagine that it would inscribe a homonormative one in its place. The institution is a lot more conservative than you give it credit for.

  • Anonymous

    What are the implications of this decision for correctional institutions ?

  • Re #55

    Exactly. That's why we don't want gender-neutral rooms. We're tired of awkward situations in bathrooms and would like provisions that guarantee the option of single sex rooms and/or floors.

  • JorgHaiderImGeist

    I think helping transgender people is one thing but the forced mixed gender dorms are disgusting and guys aren't going to behave themselves. It is the like the rape and degregadation of all of these young women for the benefit of a tiny minority of transgender people. I cringe thinking that my young daughter/or sister, or even son could be hurt in such an institution
    Are mixed gender prisons next ?

    This whole story reminds me of Why I'm A White Nationalist and conservative. Criminal Progressivism/marxism has gone way too far. People are waking up and counter revolutionary Nationalist movements are growing tremendously all over the globe.

  • Jamah

    Islam and shariah are superior to the post-modern "West". ~ Allah uh Akbar and the Taliban !

  • Anonymous

    This policy forcibly destroys innocence and tranquility. What if a man starts claiming to be transgender or gay, or bi, so he can get in with the ladies ? You are not going to check him out and see what he is up to before he applies to the women's quarters ? How are you going to enforce a sexual harassment policy and how does it affect a case of sexual harassment and/or rape should one develop ? Will the women's legal defense suffer ? Do women have to use the bathroom with men ? What about the health consequences for women ?

    Why can't GLBTQ find an alternative less cataslysmic alternative to complete gender desegregation ? Althougth there are "many" gays there are also many more str8's. And many more str8 parents. There are also still many "homophobes" who might use this as an excuse to pass anti-gay ballot initiatives somewhere.

  • meritydtv

    Not even the US Military, or civil services gender, desegregate living quarters and bathrooms. This decision is appalling and makes me sick. I hope the people pushing this decision burn in Hell.

  • Really?

    This post really made me sad. I cannot believe people think this way!

    You say that you want your single sex dorms and you can still have them - NOBODY will stop you. The room draw argument that people will be "forced" into living in mixed sex dorms is ignorant: haven't you heard of stand-alones - maybe you won't have as much of a chance of getting a suite if your not open to mixed suites but right now I have NO chance of living with the people I want to.

    This policy will only affect those who want it to - stop thinking about yourselves and open your eyes to the big picture.

    Oh and the 1% argument - really? If you went to a school that had only 1 African American student would you not honor Martin Luther King. If there was only one Christian in a school would you not have off for Christmas. If there was only 1 handicapped person in a building would you not instal an elevator.

    Please! 1% is 1% more than what is needed to implement this policy.

  • Elizabeth Moore '09

    To Really?:

    Again, as I wrote before to another person with a similar argument, if one person finds the idea/possibility of mixed-gender housing apalling, why should we not maintain single gender housing? The "honor the minority" argument goes both ways. 1% against the policy is 1% more than what is needed to reject the policy.

  • to 65

    Good God, do you have any idea what kind of atrocious things you can justify under that poor excuse for logic? As a hint, the answer is 'absolutely anything'.

    You still do not seem to understand that gender-neutral housing does not require people to live in mixed-gender suites if they do not want to. Since you do not, you would not be forced to. I don't get why this is so difficult for you to understand.

  • Elizabeth Moore '09

    To 'by to 65':

    You do not seem to understand the reservations I keep reiterating. Based on how housing/room-draw works currently, people are very often forced to live with people who they do not know or do not choose. Often in these situations, if one does not choose to live with said unknown people, one often forfeits or severely limits one's chance to obtain on campus housing. At least, this is how it has worked for the two years I have participated in room draw in JE. Maybe in your college, it doesn't work this way, but twice now, I have been told "Take this arrangement or move off campus."

    And the point is, UNLESS Yale could 100% absolutely assure, without questions, that people asking for single-gender accommodations would get them, REGARDLESS of the room-draw/clipping situation, I do not support the policy because, in such a case it were implemented without the assurance, there would be a chance (just like there is now) of people being forced to live with suitemates they do not choose, which poses a particular problem for some if the suitemates were to be of mixed genders.

    If Yale would provide that absolute guarantee, I'd have less of a problem with the whole idea.

  • Anonymous

    Does JE not have 'injury rooms'? I'm sure if you made your case that living with men was a violation of your beliefs, they'd give you one. Interestingly, if mixed-gender housing were approved, you'd have a better chance of getting your way (a single, I presume), since 'I don't want to live with strangers' isn't going to be a compelling argument in a college situation whereas the 'violation of my deeply-held beliefs' argument would actually be taken seriously.

  • Anonymous

    The basic argument for the mix gender housing is that we, majority of yale students, want to live with opposite sex and there will be perfect regulations that actually WORK to protect people who have trouble with it.

    You are talking in WORDS and IDEAS! Do you think when implemented, mix-gender housing will not do harm and at least bring about lots of inconveniences for many? I am talking about REALITY!