Gender neutral housing on hold

Yale students intent on living with members of a different gender will have to look to off-campus accommodations for at least another year.

A proposal that would allow gender-neutral housing options for Yale College juniors and seniors will not be available for the 2009-’10 housing cycle, Yale College Dean Mary Miller and Council of Masters Chairman Judith Krauss announced in a statement Monday. University administrators need further time to study implementation issues surrounding a potential gender-neutral housing program, Miller said, and to study similar programs at peer schools. To that end, a task force will be formed to further explore the proposal.

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Senior University administrators requested in Miller’s announcement Monday that the new task force gather information on the track record of similar policies at peer institutions before re-evaluating whether to offer gender-neutral housing at Yale.

“We know what the policies are at other schools, but the groups working on this had not produced a report to describe what the effects had been,” University President Richard Levin said. “What we were proposing is much more sweeping than at other schools.”

The postponed proposal, which would have afforded juniors and seniors the opportunity to live with students of any gender, was recommended by an ad-hoc committee of University administrators before gaining the support of the Council of Masters two weeks ago.

The tabling of this policy marks the continuation of a long debate over the merits of instituting a gender-neutral policy at Yale.

Although the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Cooperative at Yale has been advocating for a gender-neutral policy at Yale for over three years, student advocacy for gender-neutral housing began in earnest in December 2007, when a Yale College Council internal committee was formed to examine the issue.

In Jan. 2008 the YCC voted 22-2 to support that committee’s recommendation that gender-neutral housing be implemented at Yale. The YCC submitted this resolution to the Yale College Dean’s Office, which shortly thereafter formed its own committee to investigate the issue.

YCC President Rich Tao ’10 said he contacted three senior University administrators Monday to ask that students be represented on the new task force. The YCC will also continue working on the issue through an ad-hoc project group, Tao said.

“We’re going to look at finding out how we can help the administration elucidate the evidence,” he said.

Gender-neutral housing could be especially challenging at Yale given the residential college system, said Dean of Student Affairs Marichal Gentry, who sat on the ad-hoc committee the University commissioned to study the issue in Jan. 2008. The University does not want to label one college or one entryway as gender-neutral, Gentry said, out of fear that this would unnecessarily isolate transgender students at Yale. To avoid this, he said, any change would have to apply to all of Yale College. Most of the other institutions that have adopted mixed-gender housing do not offer it to the extent that Yale would, Miller said.

“We’re really going to drill down into what the local experiences are,” Miller said in an interview Monday. “The opportunity to look at the track record [of mixed-gender housing] is something that we’ll be exploring in the task force.”

Harvard instituted a policy in 2007 that allows transgender students to apply for gender-neutral housing on a case-by-case basis. Stanford University established a pilot program in 2008, allowing upperclassmen in one of four residences to apply for gender-neutral housing. Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania both offer some form of gender-neutral housing, while Princeton University does not offer any such options.

Miller said gender-neutral housing could also create logistical problems for juniors in particular, and that the task force must look at these issues.

“What would the practicalities be within the very tight housing constraints of the junior year?” she asked. “Juniors are often forced to reconfigure as it is.”

She said groups of juniors are often forced to combine, given the sizes of the suites available to them when they draw for rooms. If gender-neutral housing were to be approved, she said, there might be pressure for students to participate in a co-educational housing group that they might not find appropriate.

And Miller said the task force must look more closely at the actual needs of transgender students and try to identify other possible ways to accommodate them.

Rachel Schiff ’10, Yale’s LGBT Co-op co-coordinator, said she understands that there are logistical issues with implementation but that the University’s justification for the delay — the need to study implementation at peer institutions — demonstrates that queer student issues are a low priority for the administration.

“It’s [a study] that could have easily been done in time for this decision. But it wasn’t,” Schiff said. “That’s infuriating.”

A policy that would allow juniors and seniors to room with members of any gender garnered widespread approval in a News poll conducted last week. That poll found that 76 percent of students supported such a measure; 60 percent of respondents said they would consider living in a gender-neutral suite.

“This is an issue that transcends gender and sexuality,” said Katrina Landeta ’10, who chaired the YCC’s original committee on gender-neutral housing. “It is unfortunate that it has brought a lot of communities together in support of it and yet we’re still continuing to fight.”

The newly formed task force will be headed by Gentry and Associate Dean for Physical Resources and Planning John Meeske ’74, who chaired the original committee.

Meeske said he is not sure whether the idea of gender-neutral housing has won over all senior University administrators. But the new task force will not be charged with persuasion, only with fact-finding, he said.

“I’m not sure that everyone’s on board with them, but the ideas are out there so they know what the recommendations are,” Meeske said. “We don’t really need recommendations. What we need are facts.”

Comments

  • Ferny R.

    Look, as a gay guy, I've generally been pro-gender neutral. But I think these are legitimate issues that need to be tackled. Yale is proposing far more sweeping than available anywhere else at peer institutions.

    As for individuals complaining that queer issues aren't at the top of the agenda, they shouldn't. The university is in the midst of an attempted expansion, renovation and in managing an economic crisis while creating new academic programs and scientific facilities.

    Those are the priorities, as rightly they should be. I'm sorry. Priorities have to be made. I'm okay with that.

  • Y11

    Oh God, here we go. Sleep-ins, sit-ins, protesting, picketing, the works. Can we please stop giving the "activist" crowd things to be offended over? There are better things on which to spend your time, guys.

  • Y11

    Also, well said Ferny. Thank you.

  • Yikes.

    I'm not at all a conservative person; I'm the type that would vote for the Green candidate if the Democrat was too "centrist," etc. This whole "gender neutral housing" push seems a little ridiculous to me, however.
    I have to admit, it's a bit lost on me how people advocating gender neutral housing can take up the slogan of "housing equality." It seems to me that the more pressing issue of "housing equality" is the striking disparity in housing conditions in colleges--Davenport, Trumbull, and Silliman are far nicer than Morse and Stiles. Luckily, this will be resolved soon enough. I'm not sure how same-sex housing is unacceptably "unequal." Sure, if you're a guy who prefers to live with girls, or vice versa, you're out of luck. But that's a matter of preference, nothing more. If you prefer to have a single, you may easily find yourself just as out of luck (as I did my sophomore year), and if you prefer to live with a specific group, you may be forced to break up due to spatial constraints.
    If people are so determined to live with friends of the opposite sex (and I'm not saying this is in any way an illegitimate desire), then may I suggest an alternative: live off campus. The effort necessary to contact an off-campus landlord seems to pale in comparison to the effort required to organize a campaign to change long-standing university policy. I'll admit that this isn't a feasible option for sophomores. Tough. If I had wanted to move off-campus for my sophomore year, I would not have been allowed to; I was stuck with my terrible lottery number and a suite size that did not match the number of people in our group. It happens, and I still managed to have a good time my sophomore year.
    I'm not conservative, old-fashioned, or any of that. I'm just skeptical of a situation that seems to be characterized by a few particularly needy individuals demanding a change that would, despite assertions to the contrary, create more bureaucratic headaches and red tape come time for housing picks. Of all the things that Yale could change to improve quality of life for the student body as a whole, I'd say that gender neutral housing ranks near the bottom.

  • Yale '10

    I have a crazy idea.

    Why don't we we try it? Colleges are about to start rooming draws for next semester. Choose 3 colleges (let's say) and allow gender neutral housing. Then, when the world keeps puttering along and nothing earth-shattering happens, they can expand it to all the colleges.

    Honestly, I think the real reason is a worry about liability, due to the administration's misplaced belief that this will increase sexual assault.

    The other reason that they give — that the colleges make Yale "different" — directly contradicts their stated desire to learn more about how other schools have instituted it (and what the "effects" have been.) The numbers of people who choose coed suites will not be large enough to cause any concerns … and if it would be, we'd know in like 1 month, as we fill out our housing forms, giving us plenty of time to "work things out."

  • Priorities

    1. How many committees and studies do we really need before we go forward with this?
    2. Shouldn't a university put the health and well being of all its students near the top of its priorities?

  • TD '11

    To Ferny R:

    The point isn't that the administration's concerns aren't legitimate, because they are, but rather that they've had plenty of time to look into addressing these concerns (much of that time before the economic crisis) and yet they haven't. Even if YOU may not feel a need for gender neutral housing, this IS a pressing concern for some students on our campus, and the administration should not disregard their concerns and put it off for another year.

  • T.R

    To Y11,
    Sit-ins are held when the weather gets a bit better. Of course by the time the "new residential colleges" are completed they will be gender nuetral apply to Yale and lose your stones

  • Recent Alum

    Amazing. We are in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression (possibly even the Civil War), the endowment went down by 25%, there is no sign that things will improve in the near or mid-term, many Yale alumni are losing their jobs or seeing a 90% pay cut on Wall Street, and people think that Yale's priorities should be to debate housing policies? I think that some of the current students would do well to pick up a newspaper to get a sense of what is going on outside of their residential colleges.

  • Anonymous

    Gender neutral housing would neither harm anyone, nor require a substantial fiscal investment. They already *have* housing… why not designate a few floors or suites of each dorm to being "gender neutral." It's a TOTALLY NORMAL THING that students are able to provide input on what types of people they want to live with and gender could easily be one of those options. (Clean vs. messy room, kosher/special diet, smoking/nonsmoking, night owl vs. early riser, do you prefer to live with those who identify as man/woman/other/ or don't care, etc.) Clearly, other schools have managed to adopt various housing policies including gender. There is precedent for any bureaucratic red tape that needs to happen, thanks to other LEADERS who have led the universities on this issue. Too bad Yale is straggling behind them.

    Given the state of the economy and the school's need to limit its spending, it's actually a great time for the university to focus on making improvements for the student body that don't cost the school much, yet which improve the quality of life.

  • Recent Alum

    In other far less important news, the Dow is currently trading at 6,712.

  • @TD 11

    Why shouldn't they? I mean, I'm sorry, didn't you say their concerns were legitimate? Why are you against the University engaging in further research that might address some of their concerns and create the most gender-neutral campus amongst its peer institutions?

    You just said those concerns are valid and those studies haven't been done. Yes, maybe they could have done them earlier. They didn't and it isn't because they hate LGBT students: there are a lot of t hings on this campus that occur that don't revolve around a rather-minor issue that only deals with undergraduates.

    The administration should take the next year to do these studies, now that they have acknowledged that they are necessary. If at that time, they still balk, then you have more than a right to complain about the fact that Yale stated they needed the studies and still didn't do them.

  • sillimander

    Lana: residential colleges, as far as I understand, were meant to be places that all students could be comfortable enough to consider 'home'. Anything that Yale can do-- at NO cost-- to support that goal is welcome in my book.

    Further-- this issue isn't just about being LGBTQ; it doesn't sound like the LGBTQ community is asking for any kind of special treatment. All students-- regardless of sexual orientation/gender-- should have the option to live in a suite with their closest (or, cleanest!) friends, with compatible living habits, regardless of the gender of their suitemates. Just like our off-campus classmates.

    Some have said that since the change at Yale is more sweeping than models at other schools, the Yale administrators need more time to discuss and research the matter. Well, maybe this is a chance for Yale to be the leader. Think of how in 10 years our alums will be proud to say that Yale was the first ivy league school to have a universal undergraduate gender-neutral housing option.

  • PC 10

    I feel like gender neutral housing is a ticking time bomb for significant others and co-ed friends to have awkward break-ups that they can't escape.

    @Recent Alum: Your post made me happy.

  • Trumbull 09

    I would understand the LGBTQ community's complaints if the administration had straight-up said no to gender neutral housing. But instead they have said that they need more time to research. While I do favor gender neutral housing, I think this delay is quite warranted given the unique challenges of the residential college system.

    I'll use Trumbull sophomore housing as an example (I realize that this policy might not apply to sophomores anyway but I'm using it because it's a relatively simple example of the potential problems).

    Currently, Trumbull sophomores all live in 6 person suites, except to the extent that there are one or two extra people, in which case they get a stand-alone double or single. Now, let's say that you did have a perfectly balanced group of 48 and 48 (8 6-person suites per gender), and you add gender-neutral housing into the mix.

    What happens if 3 guys and 3 girls want to live together? You can't force the extra 3 guys and 3 girls that would be left to live in a suite together. So now you have to take senior singles and/or stand-alone doubles to accommodate these extra 6 students, and you're left with an open sophomore 6. This alters the options available to upperclassmen.

    Or what if a group of 5 wants to form a mixed-gender suite? If it were a single sex suite, they would have to find a 6th person but assuming you don't want to make people live in a mixed-gender suite against their will, you've now either got 5 people living in a 6-person suite, which gives them an unfair advantage, or you have to take a (very nice) 5-person suite away from the senior class to give to these students, which also seems like an unfair advantage.

    I realize that these are not insurmountable obstacles, but they would certainly involve making serious changes to the way room draw works in every college. At this stage of the housing process, when most people have committed to a living arrangement based on a certain set of rules, it's irresponsible to suddenly change the rules on them. And, to make sure the system is fair to everyone (not forcing people to live in a situation that makes them uncomfortable and not unfairly advantaging or disadvantaging students who choose gender-neutral housing), I think it is only right that Yale take some time to figure out how to implement this rather than rushing in. The students who are busy planning protests right now should use that time to come up with substantive proposals on how to implement gender-neutral housing instead.

  • TD `12

    I agree that this housing issue is not the most important problem that Yale is or should be dealing with at the moment, but that does not mean it isn't important. Sure "we could go pick up a paper" like Recent Alum says and read about the country's continuing economic downturn, but what kind of difference is that making? No matter how many times you read articles about the financial crisis, it's not going to improve because you're reading. But here and now, students have the chance to make policy change that could work and could improve life for some, even if it is a small minority of students. No one is protesting for a cause that is going to cost the university money, students are just asking to be accommodated. They are asking for a "yes" and some time, small concessions which could improve the quality of life for students now and in the future.

    And yes, one year doesn't sound like a lot, pushing back gender-neutral housing seems the same as postponing renovations. For me, it wouldn't make a difference and probably for many of you commenting. But at the same time, very few people can understand what it is like for students whose bodies don't reflect their identities and on top of it, neither does their housing. I would be fearful of forcing women to live with men or vice versa but in a sense, for some, that is already happening. Society is very cautious about creating situations where sexual harassment could occur, but that definition is too limited to men and women. But in essence, this is not about danger or a lack of safety for Yale students, but a matter of accommodating the fundamental needs of some students. "Y11" may see this as a group of activists with nothing better to do, but to me it just sees like a protest for common courtesy.

  • the sky is falling! (outside)

    PC 10,

    You realize the hypocrisy, right?

    You think WE don't realize there is a recession going on out there!

    What about you!

    You just called "awkward break-ups" a "ticking time bomb."

    Let's reserve bomb language for terrorism and the economy … seriously.

    This is not a big deal — no one wanted it to be. The Administration was the one who decided it needed not one, but TWO, years to study what should be a non-issue fait accompli …

  • Baba

    This is a pathetic move on the part of the administration. I have yet to see a single reasonable argument against allowing co-ed suites. Many colleges already have co-ed bathrooms, so what is the big deal?

  • TD '11

    To #13:

    I did say their concerns are legitimate, and I stand by that. However, I think the fact that the administration hasn't bothered to do the necessary research that they should have realized they needed to do much earlier in this process is representative of the administration's general attitude toward many concerns of the LGBTQ community at Yale. They often ignore us or, on a good day, kindly put our needs "on hold" as a way of avoiding actually addressing our concerns. Whether or not you agree with the LGBTQ community, Yale has a non-discrimination statement saying that they will not discriminate against us, and it's time for them to understand that not offering gender neutral housing is harmful to trans students on this campus.

    To PC 10:

    Honestly, if people who are dating wish to room together and aren't able to handle a break up gracefully, they deserve to have their rooming situation blow up in their faces. Technically, LGB individuals on this campus could already choose to room with their significant others, yet I haven't heard of any problems surrounding those relationships. Gender neutral housing will offer straight couples the same opportunity to live with their boyfriends or girlfriends, but that's not it's purpose, and if they want to risk living together, it's their responsibility to deal with the potentially awkward consequences.

  • Yale '12

    @PC 10 — We're adults. Part of GNH at other schools is that students are told that it's a TERRIBLE idea to room with a significant other, but it's their decision, and if it falls apart, they have no one to blame for themselves. It's analogous to abolishing freedom of speech because some people will may regret saying something. How is it fair to make some people uncomfortable because we think others are going to make poor decisions?

    @Recent Alum — Are you suggesting that the entire University dedicate itself to the plight of its alumni and its endowment? Yale College student affairs are handled by the Dean's office, investments are handled by the investment office, and alumni affairs are handled by AYA; GNH only requires the support of the YCDO and the Masters.

  • Anonymous

    There are a few institutions, including Wesleyan University, that currently offer universal gender neutral housing as an option. I have trouble seeing exactly what sets Yale apart so drastically from all other schools that have already universally instituted gender neutral housing. Life as usual has continued at all of these schools.

    Additionally, I fail to see how gender would be an issue during recombination situations. Those who did not desire a gender neutral rooming situation could choose not to have one, and those that didn't mind would have even more options when thinking about re-configuring.

    It's truly a shame that Yale is not offering this as an option, both for the comfort/well-being of LGBTQ students as well as a broadening of options for all other students.

  • Really?

    The worst part is that we know it's going to go through — it's just being delayed needlessly while the administration "studies" the issue. Instead of always following in Harvard's footsteps (yes, I said it), Yale should be initiate this policy themselves. Even alumni (both past and recent) I've talked to think this is ridiculous. Pick up the slack, YCDO, and join the rest of us in the 21st century! It's not 1701 anymore.

  • @ PC 10

    So let me get this straight, gender-neutral housing is a "ticking time bomb," because it is impossible for room mates of the same gender to have a falling out or disagreements.

  • yaylie

    Again, we should not be changing policies to accomodate some 1% of weirdo activists with twisted priorities when doing so would send shockwaves of outrage throughout conservative news sources and communities of America. Such a change would completely discredit Yale as an institution that is capable of respecting some rudimentary morals. Liberal-biased policies like the one being lobbied for by these trannie sympathizers are the reason only 10% of the student body is conservative, with most of them hiding it in a nation with a roughly 50/50 liberal/conservative split. Policies that scare half the nation away from Yale narrow our applicant and community pools, decrease diversity, and support a vicious cycle of eliminating the conservative voice from our campus.

  • ali

    i want to have less rooming drama, and GNH is the answer. i like to think im civilized enough friends with guys to be able to live in a suite.

  • Rachel Schiff

    @ PC 10 - Your comment disregards the third of Yale's population that is attracted to individuals of the same gender as themself.

    If queer people can deal with awkward break-ups, straight people can too.

  • @#15

    Meh. People in the "real world," so to speak, move in together and have awkward break-ups all the time. In this case, you're just forced to live with that person for as long as 8 months or so. (I know for a fact that this already happens to some gay couples.)

    If couples want to move in together on campus, so be it. They just have to recognize that they will have to deal with the consequences of their bad decisions. They can't turn around and say to Yale, "I can't believe you let us do that!"

    Personally, I think that co-ed arrangements in college would be more suitable for people who just happen to be good friends with members of the opposite gender, as opposed to couples.

  • Anonymous

    Recent Alum, the economy is collapsing, food stands in NYC have downgraded from rat to pigeon to cut costs, the LHC might create a black hole and destroy the world… are you sure your priorities should include posting comments on YDN articles?

  • claire

    it's strange that in every other institutionalized aspect of yale life gender isn't used to segregate people.

    when it comes to this debate, there are certain assumptions that have to be undone:

    1) people necessarily feel more comfortable living with their own gender

    2) people can't have romantic relationships with people they're living with when they are all the same gender.

    3) gender is a rigid, homogeneous, biologically determined category.

    gender neutral housing is about shifting paradigms. about truly institutionalizing a progressive policy. about all students feel equal.

    no one's asking yale to prioritize this issue over the economic meltdown. yale has enough resources and manpower that they shouldn't have to prioritize.

    the yale community has spoken: we want gender neutral housing. the administration can't just respond with another committee to form another committee to meet for an hour once a week. yale needs to actually serve its students.

  • SM'11

    PC10 and recentalum, which is worse--

    (a) the slight chance in a new system that couples have awkward break-ups (a risk many couples already take off-campus; and I assume when you say "couples" that you're referring only to heterosexual ones?), or
    (b) Yale's current system, in which transgender people who don't fit into our gender-binary discriminatory housing system, who are left without options and choose not to come to Yale? Our current system, where people are forced to settle for less than their most desirable roommates? Our current system, which assumes that Yale's students are heterosexual?

    Worst-case scenario is that couples who wish to co-habitate in gender-neutral housing would need a residential college dean's approval in order to do so.
    The "couples problem" is easily solved; not much of a reason to avoid a new housing policy.

    Still worse, you're assuming a heteronormative world. I don't know of ANY homosexual couples in the current system choosing to room together and having awkward break-ups.

    Anyone can see that having a gender-blind housing option is a better plan for our undergraduates.

  • Pierson 2011

    Yikes: "Sure, if you're a guy who prefers to live with girls, or vice versa, you're out of luck. But that's a matter of preference, nothing more." - unless the individual in question was born into the wrong body. People who identify better with the opposite sex, or are otherwise uncomfortable living with members of their own sex should not be forced off-campus. That's where the issue of equality comes in.

    Lana: Listen, sugar, as one of the many "gays and lesbos" that have recently infested your beloved alma mater, I've gotta ask, what are the residential colleges set up for without gender-neutral housing? The answer seems to be homosexual relationships. I could easily live with my boyfriend in Pierson next year, and we could keep the neighbors up all night, every night, all with the blessing of the administration. Opposing gender-neutral housing simply makes it more difficult for non-Hellbound couples to do the dirty.

    Recent Alum: Issues come up when they come up. Housing draw is approaching more rapidly than anyone here wants it to. I apologize for not sitting and biting my nails over an economic crisis that will take years to resolve, but my nails simply aren't long enough.

    PC 10: Again, it's an equality thing: gay people already have the opportunity to be forced into riding out the rest of an academic year living with a regrettable hook-up. I'm just pushing to give straight people that same opportunity.

    A few closing words. It's the 21st century folks, I live on a coed floor with a coed bathroom, and as far as I'm concerned showering and pooping are much more intimate activities than chilling, playing wii and watching football. Sure, there will be people who decide, for better or for worse, to live with "special friends" of the opposite sex, but we owe it to their suitemates to make gender-neutral housing an option. Kids are going to have sex in college. Lots of sex. If sex is going to take place on a consistent basis, wouldn't it be better to have the couple living in a suite that knew it would be happening from the start? (i.e. a suite in which the two would be officially living together)

    In the end, it's not about being gay or being straight, male or female, it's about being fair. It's only fair for the school to offer students the opportunity to live with whatever group they feel most suited to live in. Imagine if they declared next year that science majors could only live with other science majors? Horrifying.

    Most importantly of all, however, gender-neutral housing is about being better than Harvard. Harvard has gender-neutral housing. I know from experience that Yale is way better than its kinky crimson cousin but how is the rest of the world supposed to figure that out when our housing configurations are still determined by our genitalia?

  • Anonymous

    I understand the concern about not forcing people into mixed-gender living situations they find inappropriate. However, this is not a problem that can't be fixed with some careful thought and a collaborative effort to make the necessary changes to the housing draw system. It saddens me that the administration is unwilling to make the kind of effort that would vastly improve the residential college experience. I'm even willing to bet that there is a sizable group of students out there who would be willing to form a committee and do this work for them.

  • Anonymous

    yaylie:

    "1% of weirdo activists with twisted priorities" I think your stats are wrong. "1 in 100 maybe more" doesn't rhyme.

    "when doing so would send shockwaves of outrage throughout conservative news sources and communities of America." Anything but that! Why, I can't remember the last time FoxNews was up in arms about something some elite academic institution did. And it always matters so much. I'm glad you warned us, that could have been real bad.

    "Such a change would completely discredit Yale as an institution that is capable of respecting some rudimentary morals." see http://yaledailynews.com/photos/view/12636 (the image to the right of the comments). Yeah, those institutions have really fallen in standing since implementing gender-neutral housing.

    "Liberal-biased policies like the one being lobbied for by these trannie sympathizers…" Not just sympathizers! Some of us actually are trannies, you know.

    "…are the reason only 10% of the student body is conservative…" There are more queers on campus than conservatives. Our issues win.

    "with most of them hiding it in a nation with a roughly 50/50 liberal/conservative split." I wonder what that's like, having to hide something about yourself for fear of discrimination. Tough life you guys have, eh?

    "Policies that scare half the nation away from Yale narrow our applicant and community pools" Do you really think that people will shy away from the world-renowned Ivy League academic experience on principle?

    "decrease diversity" word?

    "and support a vicious cycle of eliminating the conservative voice from our campus." Doesn't this kind of thing make you all louder? We just want to give you guys something to scream about. You'll thank us later. Plus, it sucks to have to walk back and forth from your girlfriend's room every morning.

    That's actually pretty impressive. Everything you said is wrong. Well played.

  • sillimander

    Your Trumbull sophomore example is completely insensible: what happens when there aren't an equal number of males and females (which is almost always the case)?
    Logically, the more options students have, the less forced they become.
    This issue isn't about all the upperclassmen in Trumbull getting to have it easy; this is about protecting the comfort and rights of a minority group by simply providing the OPTION.
    Housing is already hectic and completed on a case-by-case basis in every college, in every year. Adding a gender-neutral housing option won't complicate things any more than they already are!

    (You wrote: "What happens if 3 guys and 3 girls want to live together? You can't force the extra 3 guys and 3 girls that would be left to live in a suite together. So now you have to take senior singles and/or stand-alone doubles to accommodate these extra 6 students, and you're left with an open sophomore 6. This alters the options available to upperclassmen.")

  • Finally, some sense

    Thank you, poster #29!

  • excuse me

    yaylie, I always thought that conservativism was about individualistic determination and freedom of choice, life, market, etc. It's incomprehensible why people who support deregulation of things like corporate ethical standards and trade policy also want to police and control extremely private things like personal living situations. How can both of thes things be "conservative?" You'd think that the ultimate conservative stance would be "Live and let live."

    Under the desired gender-neutral housing policy, students who wish to live with students of the same gender, as has traditionally been the case, would certainly be allowed to do so - they would have the freedom of choosing to live as they see fit.

    When you use the word "trannie" like you just did, it's bigoted and demeaning. As someone who claims to have high ethical standards, you should consider having respect for all human beings if you wish anyone to think you have a mite of integrity.

  • impressedwith33

    Daniel H. (post #33): I think I'm in love!
    Everybody go re-read what Daniel wrote! Smart guy.

  • @sillimander

    Uh, your response was completely inadequate. Trumbull 09 brought up a great point; you called it inadequate, and instead of giving a legitimate explanation of why, you said something about "protecting the rights of a minority."

    Which brings me to the next point: can we please stop trying to treat this as some sort of a minority rights issue? I'm pretty sure that "people who like to live with people of the opposite gender" has never and will never be considered a "suspect classification," and rightfully so. We're talking about a general preference as far as housing goes, not something completely immutable about a person. You can't start claiming "minority rights" for some subset of the population every time their preferences differ from the majority's, hopefully you see the logic in that.
    And, by the way, there are still real "minority rights" struggles going on in the world today in various places around the world. Oftentimes, the "right" they're fighting for is life. To attempt to put "gender neutral housing" in the same category as these struggles devalues them.
    I've said it before, and I'll say it again--if gender neutral housing means THAT much to you, living off campus remains an option. Crazy idea, I know.

  • Tish

    I feel like everyone's hormones are raging out of control.

  • Trumbull 09

    Sillimander:
    If you had read my comment more carefully, you would have seen that I wasn't trying to argue that we shouldn't have gender neutral housing (I favor gender neutral housing). The benefits of gender neutral housing clearly outweigh the relatively minor costs I brought up. I was simply saying that each college has its own unique housing system with unique challenges, and these will all have to be adapted if we institute gender neutral housing. I think this should absolutely be done; I just think that it's very reasonable to take this year to do it. Making a dramatic change to the housing system this close to room draw simply isn't practical. if the administration says no to gender neutral housing next year, then i'll be upset.

  • sillimander

    (in re: "@sillimander")

    Ok, here's another counter to the Trumbull argument: http://www.yaledailynews.com/articles/view/28093

    "you said something about 'protecting the rights of a minority.'" This issue is in part about the eradicating the systematic assumption of heterosexuality, and transphobia.

    "can we please stop trying to treat this as some sort of a minority rights issue? I'm pretty sure that 'people who like to live with people of the opposite gender' has never and will never be considered a 'suspect classification,' and rightfully so."
    While we're not breaking down a long tradition of homosociality in one fell swoop, we are protecting the best interest of ALL Yale students by allowing them to live with whomever they choose.
    It's bigger than just 'people who like to live with people of the opposite gender.' These housing policies are lgbtq-phobic and exclusive.

    "…There are still real 'minority rights' struggles going on… Oftentimes, the 'right' they're fighting for is life. To attempt to put 'gender neutral housing' in the same category as these struggles devalues them."
    Eradicating the assumption of heterosexuality is part of a larger framework of recognition, legitimacy, and respect for LGBTQ people everywhere. Our housing policies assume heterosexuality. Therefore, we consider the GNH issue to be part of a highly relevant issue of safeguarding a minority.

    "If gender neutral housing means THAT much to you, living off campus remains an option." Actually, off-campus housing is not permitted for freshmen and sophomores. In order to keep Yale available to trans students (and therefore competitive with other universities), a gender-neutral housing option must be instated.

  • Elizabeth Moore '09

    I find it sort of amusing that NOBODY seems to be paying attention to Trumbull 09's response, which is a great explanation of why room draw and the idea of mixed gender housing would not work together, if such a policy were to be implemented without any changes to room draw.

    Putting aside the personal qualms I have with the whole idea, I think the main problem is the policy's incompatibility with room draw, and so far, nobody has really offered an idea of how to get around this. Room draw is what it is- people VERY OFTEN end up as stragglers and in situations that require joining groups they did not initially choose. The point about having to potentially sacrifice (better) upperclassmen housing in order to make convoluted single/mixed gender situations work out is also a great one- why would it be fair to force seniors into worse sophomore rooms, when seniors have waited four years for the 'most desirable' housing?

    I don't understand why people don't get this. I also don't understand why it wouldn't just be possible to put the truly affected students (the few transgendered students) in their own singles and bypass this campus wide 'reform' all together. I am fairly certain that each college contains certain singles apportioned for people who have extenuating circumstances, and given the small number of transgendered students on campus, I don't see why it couldn't just work out to give those people singles on a case by case basis if they felt they really would have trouble living with X gender.

    I also completely echo the sentiments of #38: "If gender neutral housing means THAT much to you, living off campus remains an option. Crazy idea, I know."

  • Rachel Schiff

    Just sending love to everyone who is addressing this issue beautifully. I'm glad that the mean spirited transphobic comments are being addressed (trannie sympathizers? really yaylie?) because even though its exhausting, the outpouring of support can be really energizing and invigorating.

  • Anonymous

    Elizabeth (#42)-

    So you're saying that we can't have gender neutral housing because changing the procedure for room draw would be too much of a hassle? Yeah, another variable makes it a little more complicated, but honestly, not being willing to put the time in to work out the kinks is just laziness.

    Or wait, maybe you're right, maybe making the transgendered students live alone really is a good idea…Also, maybe we can make it so that transgendered students can only sit at the back of the bus. The front is for us normal kids who are cool with the status quo!

  • tc '09

    I would have loved to live with my male friends this year; it would have alleviated so much housing drama! While I agree that the policies about housing draw would certainly need to be carefully considered and so there might not be time to implement it immediately, it's high time Yale got on this.

  • BURGERLOVER

    PIZZA IS A GREAT TOPIC BUT SHOULDNT YALIES BE AT THE LIBRARY STUDYING ECONOMICS TO SAVE US ALL INSTEAD OF OUT TASTING PIZZA PIE

  • Elizabeth Moore '09

    To anonymous:

    IF mixed-gender housing were to be implemented WITHOUT changing room draw policies, it could potentially create some pretty awful situations for people who might end up being forced to live in situations they did not choose or even suggest that they wanted (please reference Trumbull 09's post for a good explanation of what I am referring to). That's all I am saying. If Yale wants to ALSO modify room draw policy so that
    1) people who want single gender accommodations will ABSOLUTELY be assured of them, regardless of ALL room draw outcomes/clipping situations/et cetera
    AND
    2) upperclassmen will still get the 'priority' rooms and will not have to sacrifice accommodations they have been waiting four years for
    I have less of a problem with the idea of mixed-gender housing.

    HOWEVER, nobody at all has really suggested HOW room draw policies would be changed. When somebody finally gives a comprehensive plan as to how to change room draw policy to work such that everybody is assured of living in the arrangement that they want (which is not the case now), THEN (and only then) would I have less of a problem with the idea.

    As for suggesting that maybe transgendered students should be accommodated in more individual ways, I fail to see how this is forcing them to 'only sit at the back of the bus.' Certain small groups of people will have certain, specific requirements to make them comfortable, and I believe it would be more efficient to deal with those specific needs on a more individual basis as opposed to necessarily changing an entire system to possibly benefit a few people, especially when very successful arrangements could be worked out on a case by case basis.

    Let me give an example in a slightly different context. I had a friend who told me that one year, he was assigned to live with a roommate, but because of various factors, he was not able to get any sleep with the roommate in the room. Rather than demand some sort of sweeping policy change that would accommodate for 'all people who are not able to sleep with another person in the room,' my friend spoke to college administrators and worked something out on this individual basis so that he would be comfortable and enjoy a living arrangement suited to his personal needs. He was not deprived of any college experience, as he lived on a floor with various other people (a mixed gender floor no less) that might have well as been a suite; he simply just had a room to himself and his needs were taken care of.

    To me, such scenarios do not seem prejudicial. They seem efficient, sensitive ways to make sure the people who need special accommodations are accounted for, without having to disrupt the entire system without any sort of feasible plan.

  • Anonymous

    It's not that big a deal really. If you can't get in through the front door, go in through the back door. All you have to do is swap around some suitemates and there you have it, gender-neutral housing! And Yale doesn't even have to know about it! How easy is that!

  • 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-gender suites on everyone, is a good idea. I feel there's a certain type of camaraderie and comfort that one builds with suitemates that, at least for me, I would definitely not have with a mixed-gender suite.

    So I think choice is good-- if the current system imposes norms on those who want something different (LGBTQ, etc.), let's fix that. But at the same time, let's not force something else on everyone either (a homo-normative structure is no better than hetero-normative).

  • Anonymous

    To #47: That's actually the most overlooked argument FOR gender-neutral housing. These arrangements already happen, particularly for heterosexual relationships, and suitemates often have very little say in the matter. If Yale is serious about decreasing inconvenience, it needs to look at the situation as it stands.

    I have to admit that I really don't get the room draw argument, especially because this policy would only apply to upperclassmen. I can't really see students abandoning their suitemate of one or two years to live with members of another gender if the suitemate were personally uncomfortable with that. And if no members of a student's gender in a residential college care enough to accommodate his/her discomfort by reconfiguring their own situations, I don't really understand why they'd be such great suitemates to begin with.

    (There's also the obvious point that plenty of "stragglers" in the current system are people who can't live with their friends because their friends are of a different gender.)

  • Elizabeth Moore '09

    To Dara L.:

    I have been a straggler for two years at room draw, and it was NOT because my friends were men and I could not live with them. It was actually because
    1) I don't know many people very well in my college, limiting the number of potential suitemates
    2) I wasn't able to get myself into a full group early enough
    3) I did not choose/was not able to live with my previous years' suitemates
    4) there are sometimes an odd number of females in the class that does not allow for perfect division amongst suites
    5) I lost out on room draw (as in, I drew with my friend for one of a limited number of doubles, did not win one, and then we got put back into the communal pot)

    And in terms of 'decreasing inconvinience,' we already have mixed-gender floors. I don't see what is so inconvinient about having to walk five feet across the hall to get into the room of your other-gendered friend/partner/whatever. Why does it need to be changed?

    But again, I want to underscore that I have less of a problem with the policy if there were some way to modify room draw as well. It's just that nobody has really talked about that or proposed any solutions.

  • yaylie

    @36: conservatism calls for economic liberties coupled with traditional moral standards. Calling for freedom on all fronts is libertarianism, and libertarianism taken to the extreme is anarchism. @36 and 43: you call me bigoted. I call you disgusting and unconscionable for supporting people who spit in the direction of the Creator and say, "no, I know better than you that I was supposed to a woman instead of a man. Let me try being a girl for a while. Maybe that will assuage my shallowness." Even if you are not religious, such behavior should shock your conscience. Unfortunately, the thick wool of liberalism has blinded your eyes to the obvious. And yes, trannie supporters you are. It's not bigoted; it's the truth.

  • Anonymous

    @#51, yaylie

    Why is it that all you "conservatives" like to use grandiose language? "The thick wool of liberalism" indeed. What if I started talking about "The thick wool of Christianity?" That would make me disrespectful and intolerant. As you are, when you talk that way about people. Real people who got into Yale just like you. Just because your religious beliefs make you think it's okay, pious even, to use slurs and call the legitimate suffering of transgender people shallowness does not mean that the rest of us don't get to call you bigoted when you do. It's not the truth. You are wrong. You are not a true Christian, and you disgust me.

  • Chill

    Gender-neutral activists are getting way too worked up. There are legitimate problems with instituting the change, but you are so wrapped up in self-righteousness that any attempt to explain these problems is met with derision and rhetoric. If you are really so concerned, then instead of simply whining and staging grandiose (but ultimately futile and pointless) acts such as sleeping outside in the snow, think of a way to FIX the problem. How would you integrate gender neutrality with housing draw? How would you change housing draw? The issues are not as black and white as you seem to believe and make it seem.

    The world is not against you. Calm down, and think of realistic solutions.

  • TD '11

    Dear Mr. yaylie (post #51):

    Truth is subjective.

    I recommend that, whatever you think of us "trannie supporters," you consider using terms of respect when talking to us. People tend to listen more if they think the person on the other end respects them and their positions, even if he or she severely disagree with their opinions. I don't expect to change your mind, and I can guarantee you'll never change mine, but if you would treat us respectfully, we'd do the same for you.

    Sincerely,
    A Trans Ally

  • Anonymous

    Post 51: "yaylie" redux: a few more things here. This Creator also thought the platypus was a good idea (a mammal with a duck-like bill, flippers, and a beaver-like tail… that lays eggs). This could be interpreted in two ways: (1) the Creator could have made some mistakes along the way - the world is a pretty complex place, plenty of room for error (particularly when you're designing all future planetary life in a few primordial strands of RNA); (2) the Creator's purpose in His Creation is, always has been, and always will be unclear. Who are you to say that the Creator didn't put these people in the wrong body as a challenge, as a part of some plan greater than we can't possibly understand? To put it in His words: "Where wast thou when I founded the Earth?/ Tell if thou hast understanding!" (Job 38:4). In truth, both your point of view and that of a person who feels deep within them that they are not fit to their fleshy shell assume some degree of knowledge, or at least a measure of confidence that may or may not be warranted. All that we can be sure of is that we, as humans, spend much of our lives deciding how to use the free will that our Creator, for better or for worse, gave us. Let your neighbor do what he will with this gift of God, and let God be the judge (that's what my name means, after all - "God is my judge").

    *A note to YDN Comment people: yes this is still relevant to the discussion of gender-neutral housing - the administration should put the judgment back in God's hands and just let us do our thing. Can I get an Amen?

  • Rachel Schiff

    @ Chill:

    If you actually calmed down your own "self righteousness" and heard what us "whining" concerned students are asking, you would realize how irrelevant your comments are.

    The Sleep In, and other protests, are not meant to challenge the idea that there are logistical concerns. Of course there are legitimate issues with a new housing option, that would affect housing draws and the residential college system.

    What we can't seem to understand, and are therefore challenging the University to answer, is how, in over two years, the University has failed to answer these questions? It is not our responsibility to find those answers, though we would be willing to assist Dean Meeske and Dean Gentry if the Administration asks for our help. But until they do, it is up to them to find realistic solutions, and quickly, in order to make Yale the safe space it should be.

  • samsarictraveler

    Re #50
    There are a whole host of different procedures you can use to allocate rooms in a gender mixed situation.
    I'm a grad student, so I'm not entirely familliar with how the draw works, but following Trumbull's description of the process, here is a suggestion, assuming only that the number of students is divisible by 6 (in other words, the singles have already been allocated).
    Everyone chooses whether or not they are comfortable living in gender neutral housing. Two groups are formed: one that is comfortable (A), one that isn't (B). Volunteers are requested from group A to join group B so that both both groups are divisable by six (this will require at most 5 volunteers). If there are as many stragglers as you suggest, that shouldn't be a problem (especially if an incentive is given such as a higher place in the cue to select rooms-and note, there must be at least as many stragglers as their are nescessary volunteers!) If not enough people volunteer, members of group A are chosen at random, with a waiver given to people who have a very good reason to request one (i.e. transexuals). The room selection process continues as normal from this point on.

  • Anonymous

    everyone really just needs to chill. somehow I doubt these life-changing battles regarding one lone, abused girl being forced to live with her female friend's burly, terrifying male friends are really going to become an issue.

    We're not freshman or even sophomores, most junior and senior living accommodations can handle finding a group of people who they won't be miserable with, regardless of gender.

    I live with a girl, I'm a girl. My bathroom, theoretically shared by about 10 girls, is also shared by their many boyfriends.

    Two of best friends were gay men who were housed together freshman year…my big question is, if that's not a big deal, WHY is gender neutral housing?

    The gender-neutral advocates should calm down too…it seems to me that, while Yale is sort of dragging its feet, it's something that inevitably will happen. That's the way the tide is turning. I'm not so down with the sleep-outs, but I got the little sign in my window. This doesn't have to be so intense.

  • Elizabeth Moore '09

    To samsarictraveler:

    Yes, I think that there would definitely have to be some sort of system like what you propose in place. Otherwise I just don't think the policy could work out.

    I still worry because the number of people drawing for rooms might vary from year to year (making dividing up people between single and mixed gender suites potentially very difficult). Also, your proposition seems to make the whole process of room draw even more complicated and potentially frustrating that it already is, but again, I recognize that at least it's an idea (which is more than any body else has proposed thusfar) and something like your idea might be the only feasible way to implement this policy.

    And really, I think people like me would be willing to put up with a complicated system anyway so long as the system assured us 100% of having single-sex living accomodations.

  • Confused

    I don't understand the difference between a homophobe being assigned a gay roommate and a GNH opponent being assigned an opposite-gendered roommate. It's a learning experience.

  • Elizabeth Moore '09

    To confused:

    I love how you're automatically a homophobe if you wouldn't necessarily feel comfortable living with a gay roomate. How is being gay unlike any other quality one might be uncomfortable with? I mean, why is it okay if somebody is uncomfortable with the idea of living with somebody loud/messy/early rising/musical who must pracise often/overtly religious/whatever else, but suddenly it's homophobic to not be comfortable living with somebody gay?

    Your response illustrates one of the non-logistical problems with this whole policy. People who just don't feel comfortable living in non-traditional arrangements will be branded negatively as homophobes, misogynists, prudish, or goodness knows what else, simply because their views are more traditional and differ from the new-age progressive ones that many Yale people are trying to impose on everybody.

  • Anonymous

    A messy person can clean up their mess. A loud person can be quiet. A musical person can practice somewhere other than the room. A gay person cannot stop being gay.

  • Anonymous

    I think it is a little homophobic not to want to live with a gay person. How do you justify that? Just based on the fact that they can't stop being gay? Are people worried that their gay roommate is going to secretly watch them while they're changing? If the person's a creeper, that's a legitimate concern, but that has nothing to do with being gay. I think gay people have more reason not to want to live with straight people than vice versa, especially given the last few comments here.

  • by #62

    Sorry, should have clarified: I was answering Elizabeth's question in #61.

    So, Elizabeth, would you feel uncomfortable living with a lesbian? Why?

  • Elizabeth Moore '09

    I apologize if this posts twice: I am having some issues with the comment system.

    To the last two posters:

    First, I wonder if you have ever lived with roommates before. Really? A messy person could just "clean up their mess"? Do you really think that it's so easy for people to break habits and lifestyle choices they have had for the majority of their lives? If it were that easy, clearly those people wouldn't be messy. And how many arguments between roommates have been incited because the messy person won’t change despite the pleas of the clean person? Please. It’s really not so easy.

    There are indeed certain qualities that people cannot change, but being gay is not the only one. For example, certain people need to perform certain religious rituals in their room or hang certain paraphernalia; they cannot change. Certain people need to get up early in the morning for certain reasons (classes, religious services/rituals, even personal reasons!); they cannot change. I would not be judged negatively if I preferred not live with an early riser (someone unable to change), however, I *would* be judged negatively if I did not want to live with somebody gay (also somebody unable to change)? Why is one preference okay, but another isn't? To call one negative and one fine is completely illogical and hypocritical.

    And yes, I would feel very uncomfortable living with a lesbian. I’ll talk you through the logic. I would feel uncomfortable living with a straight male because intrinsically, straight males are attracted to females and certain parts of females. If a male saw me naked or undressing, it is very likely he might feel sexual feelings, even if they were just a reflex; I am not saying these feelings would be evil or even acted upon, but it is likely they would exist nonetheless because that's just what males are intrinsically designed to feel when they see certain things. Similarly, if a lesbian were attracted to women, presumably she would feel the same things. If she were designed to find certain aspects of women attractive sexually (just like a straight man would find those same things attractive about a woman), it would make sense that she would feel the same things watching me undress or be naked. To me, they seem one and the same- I would not be comfortable with a straight man in my room, nor would I be comfortable with a lesbian in my room. To dictate that I MUST feel comfortable changing and being naked in front of a lesbian is basically saying I MUST feel comfortable changing and being naked in front of a man I am not romantically involved with. I highly doubt anybody would fault me for the latter (if I was that comfortable being naked in front of strange men, I’d either be a lot more promiscuous, or I’d capitalize on it all and pole dance or something), so why anybody would fault me for the former makes absolutely no sense.

    Expecting me or anybody to be comfortable in a room, doing private things, with somebody (anybody, doesn't matter the gender) who could potentially have sexual feelings arise because of those private activities, is absurd and absolutely not reasonable. It is possible to control actions, NOT reactions/feelings. I want to live in a safe, unobtrusive environment where my every day actions of grooming and living are not going to incite inappropriate sexual feelings or reflexes, regardless of whether or not those feelings are acted upon or even conscious.

  • Anonymous

    Elizabeth,

    You just lost your case against gender-neutral housing. Did it occur to you that gay men might prefer to live with women and lesbians might prefer to live with men?

    It seems as if you could live easily with straight women and gay men but not gay women and straight men. That's exactly how our housing policy discriminates. It assumes that all people in any given suite are automatically attracted to the opposite sex and would prefer to live with their own sex.

  • Elizabeth Moore '09

    To anonymous:

    Did it occur to you that I might also not feel comfortable living with a gay man (OR, maybe I just don't want to live with men at all, period dot?)? Certainly there are plenty of people who wouldn't mind such an arrangement. I, however, am not one of them, and I feel that my wishes and views deserved to be respected as much as anybody else's. Why does it matter if I just want to live with 'straight girls'? I simply worry that if the policy is changed completely there will be much more possibility (again, given how room draw works) for people to end up in very personally awkward situation. I don't know if there is a way to fully guard against that.

    You say:
    "[Our housing policy] assumes that all people in any given suite are automatically attracted to the opposite sex and would prefer to live with their own sex."

    Your alternative assumes that all people in any given suite are automatically okay with living of members of the opposite gender, gay or straight. I'm sorry, but that's simply not the case. People just need to accept that. There are always going to be some people who just want to live in a more "traditional" arrangement of girls with girls, and guys with guys. And if it so happens that a guy or girl ends up being gay and placed with a roomate who does not feel comfortable, then these cases can be dealt with on an individual basis, just as ALL OTHER room/suitemate problems are ALREADY dealt with on an individual basis.

    If only the proponents or administration could see that dealing with these issues individually could make everything so much easier. It would give everybody what they wanted. Single-gender proponents would still be able to live in their desired arrangements without much change, and gender-neutral proponents could have their situations evaluated on a case by case basis to presumably get what they wanted too.

  • #66 again

    That's exactly what I meant. And talk to any gay person who supports the policy. I have heard all supporters agree that those who want single gender housing should still get to keep that option. If gender-neutral was already allowed, when why haven't they done so already? You don't get my point, and you're actually agreeing with me (because you essentially misunderstood and then reworded what I said). You're not actually against gender-neutral housing, you just want to make sure you still have the option of single-gender housing, which would still be available on request, no matter what. Like you said, if there's problems, the university can deal with them on a case-by-case basis. Your views are compatible with many gender-neutral supporters and you won't admit it because you refuse to think that your views might actually align with a liberal's. They are not asking for all suites to be mixed, just for the option. Elizabeth, go enjoy your spring break. I'm not going to bother reading this again. But, it really wouldn't hurt you to actually think you could compromise with a liberal for once.

  • Elizabeth Moore '09

    Unfortunately, you also fail to understand my overarching/main point as well, which is mainly that I worry that those of us who want to preserve single-gendered options will be forced into multi-gendered ones because of the way roomdraw works. I oppose the policy, logistically, because nobody has really addressed how people could be 100% assured of the requested option.

    Of course, I oppose gender-neutral housing for more personal/moral/societal reasons, but I realize that few people would listen to those arguments, however valid they may be. Instead I choose to focus on the strongest argument that is rooted in how our housing system works and the awkward situations that could arrise if there were no checks put into the gender neutral system to assure people would be able to get their choices.

    Of course there are times to compromise with liberal ideas. However, regarding this situation, compromise to me seems like keeping the system we have now and allowing for more freedom in petitioning for unique gender-neutral circumstances on a case by case basis.

  • Lin B.

    Come on people what are you all thinking. This is a terrible idea! You are going to have assaults, awful unnecessary transgender related issues, unwanted pregnancies that would otherwise never have happended plus the abortions that will destroy the lives of children AND the women who have them. Or is this the plan? This has to be the most horrid idea on the planet since socialized medicine? I am appalled by this. I have a daughter who will be going to a University after the summer and I am surely going to be sending her to a CHRISTIAN college now and not to one of the obviously demented places of non-higher learning. This is a real wake up call for parents thinking of higher ed. This is nuts! NO, NO, NO, on this!