Salisbury University reports lack of interest in gender neutral housing

BY BROOKE  REESE

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@brookereese24

A gender and sexuality living learning community (LLC) has been attempted over the past two years in Sea Gull Square to provide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students a safe place to express their identities.

Communication Arts professor Chrys Egan is one of the faculty members that felt passionate enough to start this community.

She discussed her frustration with the lack of interest among students who would be willing to join the LLC; twenty students did not commit to live in the LLC while taking gender studies classes as a part of a major or minor.

The dorm rooms would offer students identifying as LGBTQ an opportunity to choose room assignments they felt comfortable with and would have private bathrooms with a lock so they felt safe in their living quarters.

“It wouldn’t matter if you were a boy or a girl and it wouldn’t have the little person (logo) with the skirt or the pants,” Egan said. “You use the bathroom because you’re a person that uses the bathroom.”

Egan explained that Towson University has an entire hall dedicated to gender neutral housing, while SU does not offer one floor.

A possible reason for the lack of student commitment is because they are uncomfortable coming out to their families or even in the community.

“There are people who are left homeless by that decision,” Egan said.

Egan hypothesized that the possibility of gender neutral housing might be more popular with students if not attached to a mandatory set of classes.

Either way, she believes it is important for the university to offer housing to students based on how they identify themselves.

“I think the university, to truly be welcoming to a diverse population has got to start taking more steps in that direction,” Egan said.

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