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ResLife housing lottery successful; 14 students receive gender−neutral housing

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2012

Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2012 08:04

bush hall

Andrew Schneer / The Tufts Daily

Bush Hall, along with a few Latin Way Suites, will be the first dormitory to have gender-neutral housing implemented in the fall.

This semester marked the second year of online housing selection through The Office of Residential Life and Learning’s (ResLife) housing management portal and was the first year of registration for the new gender−neutral, or open, housing option.

This year’s housing selection process went smoothly, according to ResLife Director Yolanda King.

“Overall, there were no problems with the housing management portal,” King told the Daily in an email. “We did have some situations that involved students not verifying their groups, which resulted in them not getting an appointment time to select.”

Those students were able to select in the final lottery, she added.

This year showed students’ preferences trending toward more private living situations, according to King.

“The theme we observed this year was that more rising sophomores were seeking singles, and we had some triples and smaller apartments left over [that] will also be offered in the catch−all lottery,” King said.

ResLife introduced the online housing management portal last year, following a multi−year process of selecting and constructing the system. The online process allows students to avoid the lines and waiting involved with manual selection. Students who are abroad or away from campus can participate directly, without appointing another student as a proxy, as had been done in the past.

The new open housing policy was designed to ensure that all students could live in a comfortable setting with an appropriate roommate and free from fear of bias or intimidation.

King said that ResLife offered gender−neutral housing to 14 students. The option was available to continuing freshmen, sophomores and juniors. Students registered for gender−neutral housing manually, with a one−page mutual request form. Once they completed the application, students were scheduled to pick rooms based on their lottery numbers.

“We were able to successfully offer gender−neutral housing [open housing] within a couple of the Latin Way Suites and Bush Hall, which resulted in 14 students signing up,” King said. “In moving forward for next year, we will be able to expand open housing in more of our halls and apartments for [upperclassman] students.”

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