University housing application to be more gender-inclusive

The+Student+Center+has+several+gender-neutral+restrooms%2C+seen+here+on+the+third+floor.+The+university+will+soon+add+more+questions+about+gender+to+its+on-campus+housing+application+to+accommodate+students+needs.

The Student Center has several gender-neutral restrooms, seen here on the third floor. The university will soon add more questions about gender to its on-campus housing application to accommodate students’ needs.

Alexandria Valverde

For many students, living in the residence halls and going to the bathroom is an easy task.

It’s a different story for transgender students and those of a different sexual or gender orientation, but Kent State plans to change its 2015-2016 housing application to help meet the needs of these students.

Brad Gregg, a senior electronic media production major, is a transgender student who lives on campus. He says that many of the residents he’s lived with have been accepting. However, he has encountered some difficulties.

“I kept having people call security on me,” Gregg said when asked about having to use the women’s restroom on the floor he lived last year.

Kent State’s Dean of Students Shay Little said she believes changes on the housing application will help the university be more inclusive of these students. Changes include asking more questions about gender and students’ preferences.

University Makes Changes to On-Campus Housing Application from KentWired.com on Vimeo.

She also said that changing the wording on the application will help students understand what the university offers.

“Sometimes the language that we use as employees isn’t quite what students understand. or they don’t hear the same things,” Little said. “So often, that dialogue really helps enhance a process.”

Jill Church, director of Residence Services, said this issue is important to the university, and the change will help meet the needs of more students.

Currently, students can choose housing preferences and request gender-inclusive housing on Kent State’s housing application. Preferences include single rooms, same-gender roommates, opposite-gender roommates or other gender-identity pairings.

Fourteen of the 25 residence halls on campus provide gender-inclusive housing. The university decides which are gender-inclusive by the gender makeup of the room and bathroom configurations.

Contact Alexandra Valverde at [email protected].