UCLA’s campus newspaper reports “gender inclusive” dorm life, which could potentially see students paired with opposite-gendered roommates, as suggested by UCLA Housing Services, is now being considered by the Office of Residential Life, writes Beverly White and Bill French.
Housing Services and the Office of Residential Life are working to establish a gender-inclusive housing option, said Suzanne Seplow, director of the Office of Residential Life, writes Kate Parkinson-Morgan at the Daily Bruin, adding that they expects to implement the changes by the next academic year.
Seplow said Housing Services and the Office of Residential Life were happy to respond to calls for gender-inclusive housing.
The only reason it was not already an option was because past requests for alternative housing arrangements had been successfully solved on a case-by-case basis, she added.
Last year, the Undergraduate Students Association Council presented a proposal to the On Campus Housing Council asking them to change the current policy to allow gender-inclusive housing. OCHC expressed their support and advised Housing Services to look into the possibility.
This year, Housing Services approved one room as a pilot for gender-inclusive living spaces. There are no concerns with the situation so far, Seplow said.
The success rate depends on who’s involved, according to students.
Most requests received by the Office of Residential Life are from “transgender students asking to live with a student of the gender to which they are transitioning,” writes Parkinson-Morgan.
However, some students predict problems.
“I’m pretty sure parents don’t want their children rooming with cross-gender or trans-genders, maybe, or boys and girls rooming together,” said student Cristal Alba. “I don’t think it’ll go through.”
Out of the handful of requests ORL receives, most are from transgender students asking to live with a student of the gender to which they are transitioning, Seplow said.
Also on the table is the option of allowing gender-inclusive rooms in all living spaces. But the logistics of sharing suite bathrooms presents problems, Seplow said.
Seplow said Housing encourages student input to further their efforts toward this end.
“It’s just a matter of making sure the transition is successful for the entire community,” she said.
“I hadn’t heard this conversation yet, but it’s really nice that it’s being had,” said student Liam McCoy. “I don’t personally know any transgender students.”