Tim Tai, Photography Editor

Dean of Student Affairs Melanie Boyd announced in a Thursday email to students that Yale College would provide single-gender housing options after weeks of student demands for expanded religious housing accommodations.

The news comes following a petition and rally requesting that the new streamlined housing process include religious accommodations — particularly single gender floors. Thursday also marked the beginning of group formation for the spring housing process. 

The new accommodations allow students to submit requests to live on a single-gender floor by noon on March 14. Students can choose between requesting to live on a single-gender floor even if that means being housed separately from their desired suitemates or requesting to live on a single-gender floor only if they are able to remain with their housing group. Students living in single-gender suites are also able to fill out the form expressing their willingness to live on a single-gender floor together. 

“As soon as I saw the email, I just felt an overwhelming sense of relief,” Inssia Ahmed ’25 told the News. “It’s so amazing to see all the hard work we put into advocacy pay off in a tangible way — a big thank you to all the other student leaders for aiding with everything from the petition to the rally. I’m also grateful to the administration for listening and responding to our concerns.”

Zahra Yarali, the president of Yale’s Muslim Student Association, claimed that the policy was the result of meetings between students Dean of Yale College Pericles Lewis and Boyd. Yarali elaborated that the Dean’s office was open to feedback and receptive to the students who met with them’s concerns. 

“This new addition to the housing policy going forward is based off some troubleshooting we did in the meeting with Dean Lewis and Dean Boyd,” Yarali told the News. 

Sabrina Zbar ’26, who is Orthodox Jewish, has been involved in the recent activism for religious accommodations. Zbar, who is in Saybrook College, said that when she applied for first-year housing in the fall, she was able to express her desire for single-gender housing in the survey for incoming student housing. She hoped to complete a similar survey when moving into her residential college in her sophomore year. 

The survey Boyd sent out Thursday, Zbar said, took only about a minute and a half to fill out. 

“I was really happy because the administration listened to our requests, even if not immediately, and that our practices were respected and that meant a lot,” Zbar told the News. 

Boyd wrote in her email that once the requests are received, the housing office will do “what it can” to create single-gender floors by taking these students out of the housing lotteries or room draws and assigning rooms directly.

While these requests are not guaranteed, the Housing Office is taking an active effort to accommodate all students that request these accommodations. 

“The housing office will use housing that has historically been of average demand—neither the least desirable nor the most,” Boyd wrote in her email. “For juniors, assignments could be in annex housing.”

Room selection for juniors will occur Apr. 20 and 21, and Apr. 10 to 12 for sophomores and seniors. 

Sarah Cook is one of the University editors. She previously covered student policy and affairs, along with President Salovey's cabinet. From Nashville, Tennessee, she is a junior in Grace Hopper majoring in Neuroscience.
Kaitlyn Pohly is a junior in Silliman College. She serves as the News' Sports Editor. Previously, she reported on student life and student policy and affairs for the University Desk. Originally from New York City, Kaitlyn is a History major. Outside of the classroom and the newsroom, Kaitlyn dances with YaleDancers.