Mixed-gender, gender-inclusive housing options now a reality

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Beginning this fall, campus residents will have two more options to consider when making living arrangements.
Mixed-gender and gender-inclusive housing (including LGBTQ+ students, allies, and members of the SVSU Pride affinity group) are now available, according to an email sent Wednesday, June 29, by Director of Auxiliary Operations Dawn Isler.
In mixed-gender housing, students are placed by mutual roommate request or community request.
Iseler explained that gender-inclusive housing allows students to enter the living communities regardless of the gender with which an individual identifies. These communities will be supported by the SVSU Pride Center and connected with living-learning initiatives.
Director of Residential Life Michele Gunkelman stated that students seeking to take advantage of these new living options have to take two steps.
The first step is to email Iseler directly ([email protected]), noting their preference to live in either mixed-gender or gender inclusive housing. Then, each student must update their living preferences through the Housing department.
Each of these steps must be completed in writing by 4:30 p.m., Friday, July 15.
Gunkelman said that room assignments in each community are granted on a first-come, first-serve basis.
“The idea of mixed-gender and gender-inclusive housing came about after thorough discussions with SVSU’s sister schools and several student requests,” Gunkelman said. “An email was sent out to SVSU’s student body previously to gauge student opinion, and we received over 1,200 responses.”
In response to the original email, mixed-sex housing preferences outpaced single-sex housing preferences by more than 10 percent of survey responders.
Of the 1,154 survey responses, there was a critical mass of 4.2 percent, or 48 students, interested in piloting a living-learning community with learning based outcomes with respect to gender inclusion or allies of the LGBTQ+ community.
Madison Ledbetter was one of the six members on the committee to bring about mixed-gender and gender-inclusive housing.
 When asked about the risks of implementing the mixed-gender and gender-inclusive housing, Ledbetter said that, no matter what the changes are being implemented on campus, there will always be risk.
“I view it as a much bigger risk to not make these changes that will include the growing LGBTQ+ community,” Ledbetter said. “One of the biggest issues we had was whether or not to include freshman housing because it will bring too many complications along with it, but in the future the committee plans to include them as well once the kinks are figured out.”
Nearly half of the public universities in Michigan have mixed gender housing.
This new housing option is not yet available to incoming freshman.