The University of Miami has specified its plan for the first gender-neutral housing options ever offered at the school.
The pilot program will be offered in certain suites and apartments in Eaton Residential College and the University Village, according to a statement from Executive Director of Media Relations Elizabeth Amore. President Julio Frenk announced the plan for gender-neutral housing by fall of 2016 Thursday at a town hall event with students, faculty and community members.
Campus Pride, a nonprofit organization focused on developing more LGBT-friendly colleges and universities, lists 197 universities and colleges that already offer gender-inclusive housing, which they describe as “housing in which students can have a roommate of any gender.” UM will be the fifth school in Florida to offer such housing, joining Eckerd College, Ringling College of Art and Design, Stetson University and University of North Florida.
“For this pilot gender-neutral option, we are currently updating our systems so that continuing students who want campus housing in fall 2016 can have the option to live in a gender-neutral suite or apartment, on a space-available basis.”
The statement said that other residential facilities could be included as the program is developed; significant software, policy and process changes are needed to implement the program. The student housing website will be updated once the university has finalized its plans for the program.
As of this time it is not yet clear how much space will be available when the program is first implemented.
The school is also designing inclusive restrooms for the school’s “public areas,” and will continue to work on recommendations made by the 2014 task force on LGBT issues.
“The University is committed to identifying issues that are challenging for transgender students and will continue to work on the recommendations from the 2014 task force on LGBTQ issues,” the statement concluded.
This story will be updated as more information is made available.