A proposal to offer gender-neutral housing for Yale upperclassmen in fall 2009 has been tabled, the Yale Daily News reports. School officials say they need more time to form a task force and study the implementation of similar programs at peer schools. Gender-neutral housing permits students of different genders to share dorm rooms, an accommodation primarily meant to minimize conflicts for transgender students.
The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community at Yale has been lobbying for gender-neutral housing for years. In January 2008, the proposal received an overwhelming majority vote by the Yale student government. More than a year later, the decision to delay the housing option has upset its most ardent supporters, who accuse the university of not giving the topic proper priority. "It's [a study] that could have easily been done in time for this decision. But it wasn't," said one student. "That's infuriating."
The decision also prompted students to hold a "sleep-in," during which more than a dozen students camped in the middle of campus to, as one said, "protest the type of metaphorical displacement we, and by we I mean the [ gay and transgender] community and allies, are faced with by this decision."
Harvard, Stanford, Brown, and the University of Pennsylvania all offer some type of gender-neutral housing options.