Housing options leave out one group: gender-neutral

A recent trend in university housing should be more than just that. While affinity housing is something that NKU addresses through Greek housing, honors housing, international housing and more, gender neutral housing is something that hits a deeper level of necessity.

For LGBTQ students and other students who don’t identify with society’s traditional male and female genders, a this housing option has more than one benefit.

1. Comfort with their roommate: the student wouldn’t feel obligated to address their sexuality or gender identification with their roommate or worry about making them uncomfortable.

2. Safety: the student wouldn’t have to worry about the threat of unexpected physical, emotional or sexual abuse and bullying that comes with an unaccepting roommate.

3. Elimination of potential sexual tension: the student wouldn’t be paired with someone where there would be potential sexual tension due being of the gender they’re attracted to.

4. Ability to express themselves: the student wouldn’t feel the need to “hide” who they are or how they identify because there would be an understanding between them and their roommate.

While these four positive outcomes only scratch the surface, they can help the university understand why gender neutral housing is on a different level than affinity housing in terms of importance.

Some may argue that if the university acknowledges an infinite amount of genders by deciding to incorporate gender neutral housing, the housing will be too difficult to implement. This isn’t true. By taking a wing, or even a few rooms in University Suites and dorms like Callahan, the university can do a trial run, to see how the logistics pan out once in effect.

Things like shared bathroom space and living space will be demonstrated through the trial run, like the one that Rutgers University is currently conducting. Then, NKU can take the things that worked and didn’t work to the “drawing board” and decide best-practices for the housing option. Of course, students would be able to opt into the housing, and wouldn’t be surprised by finding that they are taking part in gender neutral housing.
As a university that takes pride in calling itself “metropolitan” and claims to constantly evolve, a housing option like this shouldn’t come as a surprise, but as a welcome opportunity for positive growth, change and acceptance.