LGBT students at UNC-Chapel Hill are celebrating today after the institution’s Board of Trustees unanimously endorsed gender-neutral housing as an opt-in housing option for campus residence halls. The decision comes after two and a half years of work by students, faculty, and staff to guarantee safe housing for LGBT students.
Student efforts were initially rejected by Chancellor Holden Thorp last February when he said that the proposal had not been “adequately explained” to “stakeholders off campus.” Following this initial rejection, students continued to organize on campus, creating a Gender Non-Specific Housing Campaign Facebook page and Tumblr. Student efforts also included a petition, video, and postcard campaign. Events in support of gender-neutral housing included a event for students to share their testimonials and a Sleep In for Equal Housing at the Campus Y.
The 2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People study by Campus Pride reported that nearly a quarter of LGB people on campus experience harassment, and this number is even higher for transgender students and LGBT people of color. Campus Pride applauds the work of students at UNC and the decision by the Board of Trustees to offer safe housing for LGBT students in an effort to curb this harassment. We encourage other campuses to follow the lead of UNC and the 33 public and 66 private colleges and universities across the country that have implemented gender-neutral housing already.
You can read more about Campus Pride’s involvement with gender-neutral housing at UNC, including a statement released with the National Center for Transgender Equality, National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Transgender Law Center, on our blog.
Photo Source: Gender Non-Specific Housing Campaign