Web Update: March 15, 2007 – Last month, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, and Carnegie Mellon University publicly announced that they would join the growing number of schools that provide students options to live in safer, more comfortably, more appropriate living arrangements.Unlike other schools with inclusive policies, Harvard will only allow students identifying as “transgender” to have a gender-neutral rooming option. While NSGC applauds Harvard for this step forward, all students should be afforded the right to live with whom they feel most comfortable. Never should a student be forced to disclose information of such personal nature – transgender status – to be eligible for such an option. Critiquing these and other serious limitations, the staff of the Harvard Crimson endorsed gender-neutral options for all Harvard students.
As Dartmouth, Harvard, and other main-stream institutions now enact more inclusive dormitory options, countless more will readily follow. Administrators across the country should follow the lead and reexamine the outdated rational behind discriminatory rooming policy.
Campaigns for inclusive policies continue to progress at Muhlenberg College, University of Chicago, and much further beyond.
February 15, 2007 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Greensboro, NC – Today, the National Student Genderblind Campaign (NSGC) reached a new milestone. With the addition of its one-thousandth online member, David Norton, NSGC Executitve Director, stated, “A movement is growing; at colleges across the nation, from the Midwest to New England, at urban and rural campuses, students are coming together. They are speaking out and questioning the heterosexist assumptions within traditional rooming policies.” As outlined by these initiatives, residential-life policies, without genderblind options, tend to:
· marginalize gay, lesbian, bisexual, and students of various sexual orientations who feel comfortable, or more comfortable, rooming with someone of the opposite sex/gender;
· alienate transgender, genderqueer, and intersexed students who are forced into discriminatory, gendered rooming situations based on biological/legal sex rather than gender identification;
· assume that men and women can never, and will never, live together non-sexually given the choice to do so;
· and needlessly reinforce an oppressive gender binary while perpetuating gender segregation.
Norton added: “As more students and administrators realize the concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students, policies will continue to change for the better. This is an issue of choice; it is an issue of institutionalized heterosexism; it is an issue of safety. Homo- and transphobia are still very much a reality at campuses across the nation. Genderblind rooming options provide safe spaces and more appropriate living arrangements for students that have been previously marginalized by inflexible, heteronormative rules.” More >