U-M to Make Gender Neutral Housing More Accessible

Dec 8, 2011

The University of Michigan student assembly wants to make it easier for gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual students to live together. It’s part of a movement called gender neutral housing.

The student organization wants to see a gender neutral housing option on next year’s on-campus housing application. It would allow students to be contacted by the LGBT student resource center, and partnered with a roommate they feel comfortable with.

Amy Navvab is the chair of the Open Housing Initiative. The psychology student says gender neutral housing reflects the values of the University.
“Students would prefer gender neutral housing for a variety of reasons, often they feel that it’s going to foster a safer, more inclusive community for themselves living in the residence hall.”

Navvab says the administration has been supportive in promoting the option for next year’s new and returning students.

Critics worry gender neutral housing will open the door for couples to live together, creating conflicts. Brendan Campbell, vice president of the student assembly, states same sex couples already can live together in dorms.
“Most couples who currently have the option of living in the same room together don’t do that because they recognize that that’s not the best solution for them.”