Students in the class of 2011 will have the option of living in mixed-gender suites next year as part of a pilot program, Yale College Dean Mary Miller and Council of Masters Chair Jonathan Holloway said Sunday evening in an e-mail to the News.

Rising seniors may choose to live in mixed-gender suites but not mixed-gender bedrooms, Miller and Holloway wrote, and no student will be forced to live in a mixed-gender suite. Students in romantic relationships are discouraged from rooming together in this configuration.

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Miller and Holloway said the gender-neutral option will be available to students in the rooming draw set to begin after spring break.

“This new housing policy will be evaluated during its first year; a committee of masters and deans will report to the YCDO, Council of Masters, and University Officers in January 2011,” Miller and Holloway wrote.

The decision comes after “extensive information gathering from sister institutions, masters and deans, as well as various student groups on campus, and in the context of thoughtful consideration of the potential impact of such policies on Yale’s residential college housing system,” Miller and Holloway wrote.

A proposal that would have allowed a gender-neutral housing option for juniors and seniors in the current academic year was tabled last spring in order to give administrators more time to study the issue, Miller said at the time.

All other Ivy League schools already have a gender-neutral housing option.

Previous coverage of this story:

  • “After Princeton, Yale is last Ivy without gender-neutral housing,” Oct. 20, 2009
  • “Gender neutral housing on hold,” Mar. 3, 2009