Q: How does gender-inclusive housing work?
First-year students may indicate an interest in gender-inclusive housing on their housing questionnaire in the enrollment guide. Indicating an interest in gender-inclusive housing means that you prefer to be housed with other students in the same room, irrespective of sex or gender. Members of the rising sophomore, junior and senior classes have the opportunity to choose their own room assignments through the spring housing lottery process. Through this process, students find a roommate and together the students select a specific residence hall, then room assignment. Students who wish to take advantage of the gender-inclusive housing policy have the option of choosing a roommate of any sex or gender.
Q: Is gender-inclusive housing all on one floor or in one residence house?
No. There is no specific floor or “themed” house for students who choose the gender-inclusive housing option. The option is available to students who wish to reside in any of the college’s traditional or themed residence houses or on-campus apartments.
Q: What about bathrooms? Are they gender-inclusive too?
Yes. Nearly all bathrooms in Connecticut College have been gender-inclusive for many years. This practice has contributed to a student culture which is very accepting of inclusive residential environments. Most academic buildings also have gender-inclusive bathrooms.
Q: How many people does this impact?
This policy applies to all students, so the impact will vary year to year. Because Connecticut College only has a few single gendered floors across campus, the options available to meet the needs of those wanting a gender-inclusive housing experience are plentiful.
Q: Under this policy, can couples live together?
The Office of Residential Education and Living strongly recommends against couples living with one another. Under the policy, however, couples are not banned from rooming together. Roommate pairs will not be questioned about or made to explain their relationship as part of the housing process
Q: Can students be randomly assigned to a gender-inclusive room?
No. Only students who opt in will be placed into gender-inclusive housing.
Q: What if a student chooses to participate in gender-inclusive housing and becomes uncomfortable with their living situation?
The College’s established room change process allows for reassignment in any living situation where there is a problem that cannot be resolved.
Q: What if a first-year or transfer student begins to feel unsafe or threatened in their living situation?
If a student feels threatened or unsafe in a roommate situation for any reason, the student should contact the Office of Residential Education and Living immediately and alternate housing will be provided.
Q: Do any other colleges offer gender-inclusive housing?
Yes. More than two dozen U.S. colleges and universities offer some form of gender-inclusive housing, including Wesleyan University, Swarthmore College, Clark University, Brown University, Sarah Lawrence College, Ithaca College, Stanford University, Dartmouth College, Cornell University and Columbia University. While no two policies are exactly the same, Connecticut College’s policy most-closely resembles the policies at Clark University, Sarah Lawrence College and Wesleyan University.
Q: Why is this policy important?
Connecticut College is committed to providing safe, comfortable and inclusive living environments for all students. This policy acknowledges the diversity of the student population at Connecticut College, including LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning, Intersex and Asexual) students, and extends the range of fair and inclusive housing options. The policy, originally requested by students, has been endorsed by the Student Government Association, the Campaign for Gender Identity Awareness, the LGBTQIA Center, the Office of Residential Education and Living, the Office of Student Life and the College’s senior administration.