Gender-neutral housing stalled

Gender-neutral housing options will not be available for the 2009-’10 housing cycle, Yale College Dean Mary Miller announced in a statement today.

Instead, a task force will be formed by Associate Deans Marichal Gentry and John Meeske to explore such options further.

An ad hoc committee of administrators, formed in January 2008, recently recommended that Yale allow gender-neutral housing options for juniors and seniors. The Council of Masters endorsed the recommendations in February 2009. But the Officers of the University requested that additional data be gathered on the successes of these policies at peer institutions.

Gender-neutral housing may be especially challenging at Yale, the announcement said, given the residential college system. While other institutions may allow the option of mixed-gender dormitory floors or entryways, this would not be possible at Yale. Instead, the change would have to be implemented throughout the entire college.

“Without more detailed knowledge of how mixed gender housing has worked on a small scale elsewhere,” the announcement said, “the Officers are concerned that a system-wide change at Yale would be premature.”

The housing system at Harvard University presents similar complications. Harvard instituted a policy in 2007 that allowed transgender students to apply for gender-neutral housing on a case-by-case basis, thus avoiding the universal changed proposed by Yale’s committee.


  • Sad Yalie

    One day we'll actually be able to make adult decisions about who we can live with. Until then, we'll be treated like children!

  • all deliberate speed

    Further study is one thing. But Yale had better do the right thing in the end. Harvard's case-by-case policy for transgendered students only does not get at the whole problem. Our current housing policy unfairly forces students off campus who merely want to live with the people with whom they feel most comfortable living, who happen not all to be the same sex. In a world where parietal rules are gone, and Yale no longer policies the interactions of men and women on a daily basis or checks who sleeps where, it seems ridiculous to maintain this one formal vestige of segregation, a sop to gender mores whose time is long gone. The argument that somehow, separating men and women rigidly for rooming purposes somehow makes Yalies less licentious or otherwise more well-behaved is an insult to our intelligence.

  • I support!

    I am ashamed that Yale has yet to implement gender neutral housing.

    join the facebook group: 3429

    if you support too!

  • 6tm3


    BTW, why does in almost every article about what Yale does, it has to be compared to what Harvard does. Stop this Harvard fixation please. Thanks.

  • Y09

    Cowards. They're stalling. How many more committees need to be formed before they reach an obvious and foregone conclusion?

  • Blade

    Probably a good idea to have such options available, as done at Harvard, to accommodate anyone who so chooses.

    But I don't think a system-wide change, that would force mixed suites on everyone, is a good idea. Maybe it's just for some people, but I felt there's a certain type of camaraderie and comfort that one builds with suitemates that (at least for me) I wouldn't have with a mixed suite.

    So I think choice is good-- if the current system imposes norms on those who want something different, let's fix that. But at the same time, let's not force something else on everyone either.

  • Sarah Thompson

    This is absurd. As much as I love Yale, I'm starting to feel less and less surprised when it refuses to act in accordance with the ideals it publically espouses.

    If you're of like mind, check out the protest happening on cross campus tonight:

  • I oppose!

    I am ashamed that Yale is even seriously considering this new policy.

  • What's going on?

    … We already have mixed gender entryways. From what I've read, it sounds like people want to be in the same suite with friends of the opposite sex.

    Who cares? Let people who like to get worked up about it have their way so they shut up.

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