The University of Wisconsin – Whitewater Housing and Residence Life is a featured program.
Gender Inclusive Housing was created at UW-Whitewater as an effort by University Housing to provide living option to account for all of our residents and their differing needs. The term “inclusive” or “gender neutral housing” refers to rooms where people of any sex or gender identity can room together, including students of the “opposite” sex and student who don’t identify with any particular gender.
Gender Inclusive Housing for Upper-Class Students
Gender Inclusive Housing started in the fall of 2014 in Starin Hall, an upper-class community (sophomore and above including graduate student housing). Starin offers suite-style living with four residents having individual rooms and sharing common areas including kitchenette, living room, and bathroom. With the private bathrooms, it was a logical choice to launch the Gender Inclusive Housing to gauge the desire and need from UWW’s residential community. There is a separate application included with the Starin Hall Housing Application that those interested in Gender Inclusive Housing complete in which residents answer the following questions:
- Please describe your need/interest in Gender Inclusive Housing and how it will support you to be a successful student at UW-Whitewater.
- Are you comfortable living in a gender diverse space? For example with persons whose gender identity & expression may be across the spectrum and might be fluid? (i.e. transgender students in transition, students who transgress gender and do not conform to gender ‘norms’ or identity, etc.)
If a student that is approved for a Gender Inclusive Housing space leaves the assignment, University Housing reserves the right to convert the space back to single gender housing if it is appropriate. This mostly occurs at semester break when there are a large number of students graduating, changing rooms and/or studying abroad for the spring.
Including First Year Students
Due to the demand for Gender Inclusive Housing in Starin Hall as well as a part of our Universal Design Plan and remodeling of residence halls, UW-Whitewater is excited to include Gender Inclusive Housing in traditional double-room residence halls starting fall, 2016. With the Universal Design renovations of four of our traditional residence hall buildings, UWW has been able to include bathrooms on each floor to support both students with disabilities and for students who do not feel comfortable using community bathrooms labeled as a single gender. With this addition to the halls, UWW is able to offer first year students Gender Inclusive Housing to better support the University Housing mission to provide quality, accessible housing and to promote student learning and personal success in an inclusive, engaging community.
The Gender Inclusive Housing additional application for traditional residential halls is the same as above. For more information about the Gender Inclusive Application please visit the website at: http://www.uww.edu/housing/assignments/gender-inclusive-application
Submitted by Amanda Murphy, Complex Director, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater