I think it’s an interesting and probably beneficial choice for Rutgers University to offer a gender neutral housing option. It gives the LGBTQ community a chance to be put at ease in the often scary, anxiety-driven first few months at college.
One issue or possible problem that I have thought of is that this option almost forces the student to be out to their parents and family before even going to college. While many young adults come out during high school or adolescence, not everyone does. College is a time of really discovering who you are as a person, and what makes you ‘you’, as the cliche says. Many don’t come out or begin to experiment with their sexuality until they are already at college or in a new environment. What if a student comes from a conservative or non-accepting family and cannot express his/her fears about possibly being harassed by their roommate?
I don’t think the idea is perfect, especially with the issue I mentioned above – but as a concept, I think it’s a progressive step and will benefit many LGTBQ students at Rutgers, and possibly across the country as more colleges and universities begin to incorporate a gender neutral housing option into their respective housing plans.
What does FUSE think? Feel free to comment or bring this topic up at our next meeting, which will be held the first Tuesday of Spring Term (March 29).
Good luck with the rest of Winter Term and good luck on finals!