Our Opinion: Gender-Neutral Housing Good
Residence Hall Association (RHA) and Resident Life & Housing (Res. Life) have decided to implement gender-neutral housing in the Clairmont Residential Center (CRC) for the 2013-2014 academic year.
Starting fall, third- and fourth-year students will be given the option to live with students of different genders in all of the buildings in the CRC. This expansion, known as Phase II of the gender-neutral housing program increases the amount of gender-neutral spaces to 338 beds in 169 apartments. Phase II originally extended to the Clifton Towers, however that part of the plan fell through and Clifton was removed from the second phase. Phase I was implemented in 2012-2013 and gave students of different genders the opportunity to live with each other in two-bedroom apartments in the F building of CRC.
We at the Wheel applaud RHA and Res. Life for Phase II and for working to accomodate the wishes of its residents. This is a wonderful example of making good use of surveys, student meetings and, in general, feedback to create a better campus. Considering many colleges such as Brown, Harvard and Dartmouth already have these housing policies in place, it makes sense that Emory move with the times. We encourage RHA and Res. Life to continue seeking student feedback to understand how these gender-neutral housing policies play out.
We also believe that gender-neutral housing should be implemented for sophomores. Furthermore, expanding the housing options, such as adding the Undergraduate Residential Center, would give more students the opportunity to live in a gender-neutral environment.
Our only concern is expanding gender-neutral housing to sophomore dorms and Clairmont Tower. The CRC and URC have individual rooms, while the Tower and the dorms have one room with two beds. This particular setup complicates the situation where privacy is concerned. We also believe that this gender-neutral policy should not be afforded to freshmen.
But again, we believe that this policy is a step in the right direction, and we look forward to the community moving towards a more inclusive and welcoming campus environment.
The above staff editorials represent the majority opinion of the Wheel’s editorial board.