There have been some small changes made to on-campus housing for the 2017-2018 academic year, such as more pet-free floors. One option that has not changed for the upcoming year is gender neutral housing.
Last year, the college decided to implement gender neutral residents halls including the option for gender neutral housing equipped with gender neutral restrooms.
According to Dean Mary Beth Williams, this change was made because “a lot of colleges are starting to do this as you don’t require people to indicate a gender during the housing process.” Williams continues by saying, “Most schools have moved to the gender neutral options so you can sign up for housing gender blind.”
“Gender blind” means that students can fill out an application for housing without having to state gender.
This year when housing information was sent out through email, there was some confusion. The email from Jared Hirtz, the Residence Residence Life Director, states “no mixing of genders is permitted within a room or a suite.”
Some people thought that mixed gender rooming (a male and female sharing a room) was being taken away, but it actually never existed on campus. Unknowingly, people were worrying about gender neutral rooming (signing up for housing without labelling a gender) being disbanded, but that is not the case.
Hirtz states, “I have actually not worked at other schools which allowed mixed gender rooms. This concept was brought up at other schools I have been at, but the schools did not approve them.”
While Hirtz is new to implementing gender neutral housing, he also states that if students wish to utilize the gender neutral housing option, “the application is on the ResLife page on my.wilson.edu. There has been interest each semester and I meet with individuals who complete an application as part of the process. I would advise anyone interested in gender-inclusive housing to review the application and contact ResLife with any questions.”