Gender-Inclusive housing is being offered as a new initiative at Penn College starting in Fall 2022! It was developed at the request of the Penn College Student Government Association. The intent is to allow students to live with preferred roommates without regard to a student’s sex, gender identity, or gender expression.
What is Gender-Inclusive Housing?
Gender-Inclusive housing is when two or more students share a room, apartment, or suite regardless of students’ sex, gender identity, or gender expression. The option is available to all students who reside in student housing.
Why is Gender-Inclusive Housing needed?
Penn College and Residence Life wants every student who chooses to live in our residence halls to feel safe, comfortable, and part of an inclusive environment. Recognizing that single-gender housing may not be preferred by all students, the College has established residential spaces not defined by the traditional gender binary (male and female). Students selecting Gender-Inclusive Housing may choose a roommate, suitemate, or apartment mate from across the gender spectrum regardless of biological sex.
Where is the Community Located?
Gender-Inclusive Housing in not a community, but rather a housing assignment option. Because of this, this housing option can occur anywhere on campus.
Who might be interested in Gender-Inclusive Housing?
Gender-Inclusive Housing is designed for students who feel more comfortable with a roommate of a different gender identity. Gender-Inclusive Housing is not intended for romantic couples, but rather for students seeking to live in an open and inclusive community. It is important for students to understand that romantic relationship challenges and break-ups can pose significant housing conflicts and new accommodations cannot be guaranteed.
Is Gender-Inclusive Housing only for student who are members of the LGBTQ+ community?
No. Gender-Inclusive Housing is an option for any student who wish to choose their roommate(s) regardless of gender and live in apartments or suites without a gender designation.
Can students live with someone with whom they are in a romantic relationship?
This option is not intended for couples to live together. We strongly discourage students from living with someone with whom they are in a romantic relationship. Research has shown that most students who choose to live in Gender-Inclusive housing do so with friends and not with those whom they are dating.
Can I choose not to live in Gender-Inclusive Housing?
Yes. Unless a desire to reside in Gender-Inclusive Housing is communicated to Residence Life, you will be assigned to a space based on the gender that is noted on your housing application.
How do I sign-up for Gender-Inclusive Housing?
- Current students are encouraged to build apartment mate groups utilizing the “Group of Four” process. If a current student is unable to find apartment mate matches, they may utilize RoomSync to find compatible matches.
- New students who are interested in living in Gender-Inclusive Housing are highly encouraged to seek out roommates they wish to live with. If a new student does not know anyone they wish to live with but still wants to live in Gender-Inclusive housing, they can utilize RoomSync to search for compatible roommates. Once two or more students mutually agree to live together, they should contact the Residence Life Office, email@example.com, or call, 570.320.8023 to start the next step in the process.
- For full consideration, it is recommended that Gender-Inclusive roommate groups contact the Residence Life Office no later than the end of May as new student housing assignments begin in early June. After new students assignments are made in June, adequate space may not be available to accommodate matching requests.
What if a vacancy occurs in a Gender-Inclusive Apartment or Suite?
Penn College needs to maximize use of all available spaces on campus. If a vacancy occurs in a Gender-Inclusive apartment or suite, the remaining residents will have one week (7 calendar days) from the time the vacancy occurs to identify an eligible replacement roommate. If the current residents are unable to find a replacement, the College may place another student in the available space. This may mean that the apartment or suite gets converted back into a single-gender living unit. Roommate conflicts, room changes, cancellations, and other issues that impact occupancy of a given apartment or suite have a unique impact on Gender-Inclusive living spaces. Residents must be aware of how such issues will be addressed should they be encountered during the course of the academic year. All policies and procedures as outlined in the Housing Contract apply to students living in Gender-Inclusive Housing.
How will bathrooms in Gender-Inclusive apartments and suites work?
Students who live together in Gender-Inclusive Housing apartments and suites will discuss and determine how to manage and share their bathroom.
Will parents be notified if their student chooses Gender-Inclusive Housing?
Penn College and Residence Life communicates assignment information directly to the student through the Student Information System (SIS). Students are always encouraged to communicate with their families regarding their housing options and preferences.