What is Gender Inclusive Housing?
Gender Inclusive Housing is a housing option that allows for multi-gender roommate/suitemate pairings at the request of the student(s) involved. This option provides a housing environment that is not restricted to the traditional limitations of the gender binary. GIH placement is offered to students who opt into it on the basis that the traditional same sex room assignment is not ideal. This option is for students who are looking for an inclusive and affirming campus environment, regardless of biological sex, gender identity, or gender expression.
Why did Fort Lewis College campus housing implement a GIH option?
FLC students expressed a desire to live with roommates/suitemates outside of the restrictions of the traditional same-sex pairing system. GIH was created to meet the needs of students who are drawn to a more expansive housing option than the same-sex paradigm. The GIH option is open to all students who request it as a part of their housing application as the FLC Student Housing Department recognizes that all students should have inclusive and affirming housing options.
Who is assigned to GIH?
Students who have indicated an interest in GIH through their housing application will be placed in a GIH space. For students who are under 18 years old, a parent/guardian must agree to the Housing Application and Contract. Students who have not indicated an interest in GIH through their housing application will not be placed in a GIH space.
Many student databases remain confined to two gender/sex designations: male and female. Student Housing recognizes that these options do not accurately represent the range of student identities that make up the FLC community. Students who do not feel comfortable in this restriction are encouraged to apply for GIH housing in order to not be placed in housing based on the aforementioned designations that may not accurately represent the identity of the student(s).
How do I apply for GIH?
Within the housing application portal, select Gender Inclusive Housing from the drop down menu under the Special Living Options section. You will be able to select a specific GIH room. Be sure to also utilize the roommate pairing tool within the portal if you have someone specific in mind with whom you would like to live. As with all roommate requests, the other student must also name you as a roommate request for you to be paired together.
Where is GIH located on campus?
GIH assignments could be in any building on campus and are not consolidated into just one location. Traditional, suite, and apartment style options are available.
Traditional style GIH housing is located in Escalante Hall. The GIH rooms are located throughout the building. There is one large bathroom per floor, designated as follows:
First Floor North bathroom: Men’s (near rooms 101-118)
First Floor South bathroom: Women’s (near rooms 138-155)
Second Floor North bathroom: Women’s (near rooms 201-218)
Second Floor South bathroom: Gender Inclusive (near rooms 238-255)
If you have specific questions about GIH options, please feel free to contact the housing staff at 970-247-7503 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I request a single room as a GIH assignment and live near other GIH participants?
Yes, FLC Student Housing recognizes that some students prefer a single room with no roommate. However, the single room location may make a difference as to your proximity to other students within GIH. Students who select a single room may have GIH suitemates or apartment mates.
How will roommate pairings be made?
FLC recognizes that many GIH participants will have a specific individual in mind to live with and mutual roommate requests will be honored, regardless of gender. For those interested in GIH who do not have a specific roommate in mind, a staff member from Student Housing will contact you to further explore how GIH can best meet your needs. This may include reviewing which GIH spaces are currently available and other preferences you may have that would help tailor a housing placement with YOU in mind.
What is expected of me if I live in GIH?
Everyone who participates in GIH is expected to follow all Residence Hall Policies found in the Student Housing Guide as well as contribute positively to the hall community, which includes creating an atmosphere of respect, inclusion, and empowerment for self and others.
If I am assigned to GIH and no longer want that option, can I change?
Yes, students can request a room change at any time. If a roommate leaves the unit, the remaining resident will be consulted on whether the unit should continue to be designated gender inclusive or change to a traditional “same sex” unit before a new resident would be assigned. Further, Student Housing reserves the right to designate units with openings as student demand dictates. Students who move and still wish to stay within GIH will be placed in another GIH assignment.
How many students participate in GIH each year?
The GIH program began in 2013 at Fort Lewis College. Roughly 1% of our residential student population participates in the GIH program. Statistics from other Colleges and Universities with GIH report anywhere from 1 - 4% of the campus housing population participate. We look forward to the continued expansion of our GIH option, as student need dictates.