The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3 - 23

Traditionally Heterogendered Institutions and Campus Housing

Often, trans and queer students
must choose between a more
expensive option (like a single
room) or be placed in a potentially
hostile or unaffirming environment.

leaving their comfort and safety compromised
in gendered spaces such as restrooms. This
understanding emphasizes the need for gender-neutral spaces as opposed to inclusive gendered spaces.
Access to facilities and cost were barriers
that prevented a number of participants from
continuing to live on campus. Although the
sample is limited, no participant noted any
college or university housing program's attempts to reduce these costs, leaving questions
about the inclusivity of contemporary housing
practice. On most campuses, college and university housing programs operate as auxiliaries,
generating not only revenue for their institutions but also for their own operating budgets.
What would it mean for college students if they
had affordable and accessible housing options?
What if gender-neutral housing facilities were
the default instead of the exception? What if
housing centered the experiences of not only
LGBTQ+ students but also students who are
not economically situated to afford increasing
housing costs? What would college and university housing look like if all students had access
to the benefits of campus housing?
Dustin reflected on his approach to pursuing gender-affirming housing options and his
considerations for practitioners:

I would say that each case of gender identity
is a little bit different. For the most part, the
housing authorities need to not only be more
sensitive to the issue of how it would feel
to be thrown into the lone dorm and just
kind of given the floaties and be told sink or
swim. They need to realize that every case
is individual and that some people need
to have their own rooms, own bathrooms.
And some people need to be sensitive to
the roommates they give them. If they can
work together to find a common ground, to
find where that person will feel much better,
then it's going to work out for the best. But
if you just throw them somewhere and hope
for the best, that's not always the best case.
[Housing professionals] really need to know
their dormitories very well, what types of
students that they cycle through, whether its
co-ed or a single dorm, they need to know
that if it's a freshman dorm, freshmen for the
most part are very immature and if somebody
is not passing very well they need to make
all the accommodations necessary to make
them not only safe but feel comfortable and
that can be a very difficult thing to swing. But
also it's up to the person as well. If the person
wants to go to a school and they only have
single sex dorms, that can be a little trickier if
they're not passing so well. It's always better
to go to a safe school where they have co-ed
places so you can start off in a co-ed without
a roommate and transfer into a single. It took
a lot of research on my part to get everything
worked out the way that I did.
Dustin's statement speaks to the challenge that
confronts many college and university housing
practitioners: A clear and direct policy is not
always the solution. The THI framework asks
practitioners to consider how they understand
the multiple ways LGBTQ+ students experience

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The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3

Contents
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3 - Intro
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3 - Cover1
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