Syracuse University has plenty of gender-neutral dormitories on its campus. That's not so surprising—many colleges and universities across the country have the same types of dormitories. What is making news, however, is Syracuse's recent decision to allow gender-neutral suites on campus, the Daily Orange reports.
The pilot program will start next fall. Seventy-four two-bedroom suites will be open to students who wish to have a roommate of the opposite sex, the report says. Students who want to be included in gender-neutral housing will still participate in the university's regular process, and they won't receive priority over other students looking for traditional housing.
"If it's truly gender-neutral, then your gender selection choice of roommate shouldn't have an impact, one way or the other," Terra Peckskamp, interim director of Syracuse's Office of Residence Life, tells the Daily Orange.
Amit Taneja of Syracuse's LGBT Resource Center says the university shouldn't decide who lives where, but he was happy with the sign of progress.
"At the end of the day, this policy is coming as a result of the request made by students and parents," Taneja tells the Daily Orange. "And it's just one of many different options that will be available to students to best meet their housing needs.
"It's a sign of changing times. We know our students are already doing that when they go off campus. People want to live with their friends—that's what it's about."
The report says resident advisers with gender-neutral suites on their floors will be given extra training to prepare for potential "nontraditional conflicts."