All Gender Housing at Middlebury
In the Fall of 2010 the Community Council and President Liebowitz approved a significant change to the College’s rooming policy. As of Fall 2011, students, regardless of their gender, will be able to share rooms.
All Gender housing is defined as a housing option in-which two or more students may share a multiple-occupancy bedroom, in mutual agreement, regardless of the students’ sex or gender. All Gender housing supports the College’s non-discrimination policy with respect to sexual orientation, sex, gender, and gender identity. All Gender housing provides housing options for all students, including those who may identify as transgender or are questioning their gender identity or do not wish to prescribe to gender classifications. All Gender housing also decreases heteronormative assumptions regarding housing assignments. Students who are uncomfortable with a same-sex roommate or do not wish to have a same-sex roommate also have more housing options to choose from.
All Gender housing applies to all multiple-occupancy rooms on campus. All Gender options cover multiple floors, buildings, and houses such that occupants of All Gender spaces are not segregated to only one or two halls. All Gender bathrooms are designated on mixed-gender floors when possible.
Rooms on mixed-gender floors are considered All Gender rooms only when two or more students agree to live together. Students agree to live together when they select a room together during Room Draw in the spring semester. Students must self-select the All Gender housing option. All Gender housing will never be forced upon a student. If a vacancy occurs in a room on a mixed-gender floor, the room is not treated as an All Gender space. The remaining occupant may pull in a student to maintain the gender status of the room or the Residential Systems Coordinator will assign a student to the room. The sex of the students will be considered when a vacancy exists in a multiple occupancy space.
All Gender housing is not available for first-year students. Rooms are only All Gender when students agree to live together, and the housing process for first-year students does not allow for the appropriate agreement.
The following terms are essential to understanding the All Gender housing policy:
- Single-Gender – A floor in a residence hall that is designated as male or female. Single-gender floors exist only in First Year Commons housing in Stewart, Battell, and Allen.
- Mixed-Gender – A floor in a residence hall for students of any gender. Mixed-gender floors comprise the majority of Middlebury College’s housing and are found throughout the campus in the form of residence halls, suites, and small houses.
- All Gender – A housing option allows two students to share a double room regardless of the students’ sex or gender. Any room in a mixed-gender area (except First Year Commons) may be considered All Gender.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is All Gender housing?
- All Gender Housing is an environment where student housing is not restricted to traditional limitations of the gender binary. This program has been launched in recognition of the fact that traditional, same-sex room assignments are not ideal or appropriate for all students. Middlebury College has chosen to offer All Gender housing because we believe it is important that housing policies evolve to meet the needs of students and to create an inclusive, welcoming environment.
Who can participate in All Gender housing?
- Any current resident who is interested in sharing a housing assignment with other Middlebury College students of all gender identities.
What are the differences between co-ed and All Gender housing?
- The term co-ed operates on the assumption that there are two genders: male and female. It leaves no room for those who do not identify as their biological sex or those who are transgendered. This idea is based on the notion that there are more than two genders, in fact an infinite amount. Allowing for All Gender housing, as opposed to co-ed, shows more inclusiveness and room for diverse identities.
Where will the All Gender residence halls be, and who can live in each hall?
- All Gender Housing for Fall 2011-Spring 2012 will be available in Room Draw for all rising Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors in any residence hall.
Is this for first year students?
- The housing selection process is different for first year students. They are assigned housing through their Commons and do not select it during the housing lottery. Rooms are only All Gender when students agree to live together, and the housing process for first-year students does not allow for the appropriate agreement.
What about romantic relationships and couples living together?
- All Gender Housing is not intended for romantic couples. However, we respect and honor the privacy of our students, so current open housing procedures do not require students to disclose the reason for their roommate requests. Couples, heterosexual or LBGT, are discouraged from rushing into living together on or off campus. That is not the intention of this policy. While there are some students who have chosen to live together for that reason, the majority of our gender room residents are people who are friends and have similar living habits, regardless of gender.
What if someone who requested to take part in All Gender Housing decides they no longer wish to do so?
- Students may request room changes by following the normal room change procedures that are published each semester.
What if parents don’t want their child to live in an All Gender housing room?
- We encourage students to maintain an open dialogue with their families so that they can be supportive of a students housing decision. Students over the age of 18 are legally able to make decisions about their housing contracts. Students under 18 should discuss housing plans with their families, as they must provide parental consent.