About 150 students will live in a gender-neutral housing assignment during the program’s inaugural year.
Director of GW Housing Programs Seth Weinshel said the 144 students assigned to rooms with students of the opposite gender will live across campus in 47 rooms.
Applicants were assigned at random to residence halls by the same selection process of those living in traditional housing, Weinshel said.
“After hearing from students, we wanted to make sure that the process followed the same process as for anybody else, that it wasn’t necessarily a benefit or deterrent either way. These students had the same chance of getting an assignment as anybody else did,” Weinshel said.
Weinshel said about 300 students indicated on their housing applications a preference to live in gender-neutral housing, but failed to list a roommate of the opposite gender. Only roommates who mutually listed each other on their housing applications would be assigned to gender-neutral housing.
Freshman Jessica Weiner applied to live with two male friends next year as a part of Audage, a theater and dance Living Learning Cohort. They were assigned to a triple in The Dakota.
“It sort of panned out because there are only two guys in our LLC… there are nine of us and we got three triples. None of the other girls and their parents were comfortable with them living with guys and I didn’t want our LLC to fall apart because of it,” Weiner said.
Weiner said her future roommates’ “low maintenance” lifestyles attracted her to living with males.
“I think it will be different because guys are much more low maintenance. They are more forward about roommate issues. I think it will be fun,” Weiner said.
The University approved gender-neutral housing earlier this year after the Student Association Senate and Allied in Pride championed the issue.
“I am really glad that the University passed gender-neutral housing,” Christian Thomas, a freshman assigned to a quad in The Dakota with three female friends, said. “I really do believe that people should be able to live with whomever they choose to live with.”
More students may be given gender-neutral housing assignments as they are taken off the housing waitlist in the coming weeks, Weinshel said.