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Gender neutral housing, like a great majority of positive changes, comes with a downside. As someone who has benefited from gender neutral housing this year,...
The gender neutral housing that students have fought to bring on campus for a decade will arrive this fall with an initial group of 38 students — but it may have come far earlier, College of William and Mary President Taylor Reveley said, were it not for an accident of politics involving a transgender Homecoming queen, a nude photography exhibit and an art show featuring the performances of sex workers.
Following an announcement in late January that the College of William and Mary would offer gender neutral housing opportunities for the first time, as students were able to opt into the College’s flexible housing program this March. At the end of the housing selection process, 38 students had opted to use gender neutral housing, filling a total of 13 apartments.
Gender neutral housing was announced Wednesday, Jan. 27 in an email from Associate Director for Administration in Residence Life Katrina Pawvluk regarding room selection for the 2016-2017 school year. According to the Residence Life website, the new housing option, which they are calling “Flexible Housing,” allows groups of upper-class or graduate students to choose to share an apartment regardless of sex, gender or gender expression.
The College of William and Mary has yet to join the national trend toward providing gender-inclusive housing options on college campuses.
The Student Assembly senate finished its 321st session Tuesday night, passing the Gender-Neutral Constitution Act.
The fight for more gender-neutral facilities on campus won a small victory March 30 when the on-campus coffee shop, The Daily Grind, installed the campus’s first bathrooms labeled gender neutral.
The College of William and Mary’s Student Assembly initiative for gender neutral housing, delayed since last spring, may see progress within the coming weeks. The multi-stage student proposal, first introduced last fall, saw resistance from administrators in February, when the College made clear it would not allow students of opposite sexes to share rooms. “The administration is overall receptive, but can’t move forward right now,” former Student Assembly Secretary of Health and Safety Jessee Vasold ’11 said.
Students at the College of William and Mary will have a chance to voice their opinion on gender-neutral housing on Thursday’s Student Assembly ballot. Following a vote by the Senate Tuesday, the SA ballot Thursday will include a referendum question regarding student support for the second stage of “A Guideline for Adapting Residence Life Policies to Demands for Greater Gender Inclusiveness.” This is a proposal by the SA that has outlined stages by which the College could implement gender-neutral housing. Stage two of the gender-neutral housing proposal provides for a gender-neutral