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Becker College Gender Inclusive Housing Policy

Gender Inclusive Housing Rationale
Residence halls serve several vital functions to a student’s development on campus, and therefore must be safe and comfortable homes for each student (ACUHO-I Professional Standards Committee, 2010; Blimling & Miltenberger, 1984; Robison, 1998). Residence halls are designed to assist with students’ transition to college life and the university community (Blimling & Miltenberger, 1984; Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005). They facilitate and support the psychological, social, intellectual, and physical development of students. Gender inclusive housing provides safe, supportive environments for students of all gender identities and is therefore an important policy for our campus. Gender inclusive housing supports the College’s non-discrimination policy and fully commits to the principles of social justice with respect to sexual orientation, sex, gender, and gender identity. Policies such as gender-inclusive housing serve as symbols of an institutional commitment to equality and inclusivity (Zemsky & Sanlo, 2005). Failure to alter a policy, such as who students can reside with, signifies an institutional commitment to perpetuating the gender dichotomy, which directly works against visible inclusion of transgender students (Carter, 2000). By creating a gender inclusive housing policy Becker College is making a statement that they are committed to creating safe and comfortable homes for all students in our campus community, regardless of sex, gender, or gender expression/identity.

Policy Statement
Gender inclusive housing is defined as a housing option in which two or more students may share a multiple-occupancy bedroom, in mutual agreement, regardless of the students’ sex or gender. Gender inclusive housing also provides housing options for students who may identify as transgender or are questioning their gender identity and/or do not wish to prescribe to gender classifications. This will also allow students who are uncomfortable with a same-sex roommate or do not wish to have a same-sex roommate to have more housing options to choose from. Through this policy gender inclusive refers to all areas of the specified residence halls, including by not limited to bedrooms, common rooms, and all bathroom facilities.

At Becker College, any student regardless of gender identity, may choose to reside together. Students may live together in any multiple occupancy bedroom on a mixed-gender floor in Willow, Spruce, Barrett, Oak, Winslow or Bancroft.

Current Becker Students
Upperclass students (Sophomore, Junior, Senior) agree to live together when they select a room during Room Selection in the spring semester. Students may select to live in Barrett or Winslow on the Leicester campus; or Bancroft, Oak, Willow, or Spruce on the Worcester campus. There is no additional application process to reside in a gender-inclusive room. The institution however, does not recommend that any student regardless of sex, gender, gender expression/identity, or sexual orientation live with a significant other(s).

First Year Students
Becker College office of Residence Life and Student Conduct is excited to expand our gender inclusive housing policy to include first year students. Gender inclusive housing is available to first year students in a section Oak Hall on the Worcester campus (Oak Hall is a building made up of both current and first year students). First year students can select gender inclusive housing as an option on their housing application. They can also select the gender identity of a potential roommate that they would be most comfortable living with. Students who opt into gender inclusive housing are placed in similar fashion with other first year students utilizing personal preferences from the housing application. Students may also request a roommate, both students must request each other and both must select gender inclusive housing as their preferred option on the housing application.

Vacancies & Room Changes
Gender inclusive housing is the students’ decision and will never be forced upon an individual. If a vacancy occurs the students in the room will have 72 hours to fill the vacancy regardless of gender. If the vacancy is not filled the room will revert back to a single gender space, which Residence Life may fill as needed. Vacancies in suites and apartments will be handled on a case by case basis, to ensure that all parties are comfortable with the make-up of the space.