The University of Kansas has designated a wing of one of its residence halls as “gender inclusive housing” to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual students and help them feel comfortable on campus.
The Lawrence Journal-World reports that a wing of Lewis Hall on the Lawrence campus has been designated as the Gender Inclusive Housing Community. It welcomes students who are “in the process of discovering their gender identity” or who might not want to identify themselves by any gender.
Students will be assigned roommates regardless of sex, gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation. University officials say there’s already a waiting list to live there.
“It tells me we’re hitting a need,” KU Student Housing director Diana Robertson says.
KU Student Housing piloted gender-inclusive housing during the 2016-17 school year, and only a few students signed up, Robertson says. For 2017-18, the department has set aside a wing of Lewis Hall for gender-inclusive housing, and all available spaces have been reserved.
Robertson says more than 20 students have signed up, and there is a small waiting list.
The rest of the university’s on-campus student housing options are divided by gender. Some entire buildings are all male or all female; others have separate men’s and women’s wings, suites or apartments.
Students who want to live in the gender-inclusive community indicate that preference on their housing applications, and are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
In the past, Robertson said, KU Student Housing worked on a case-by-case basis to place students who did not fit the traditional gender profiles.