The transgender bathroom battle has moved to college campuses, as universities explore ways to implement gender-inclusive housing for transgender students, according to reports Friday.
Colleges have sought to be more inclusive for those who identity with a gender different from their biological sex since the Obama administration invoked Title IX back in May, which prevents discrimination based on sex. If colleges do not comply with Title IX, they stand to lose federal funding and could face numerous lawsuits.
Colleges across the country have already implemented gender-inclusive housing on their campuses, and some are working fast to create these housing options in time for this fall’s freshman class. The wide variety of gender-inclusive housing options is intended to give straight students the option to live with gay people of the opposite gender, transgender students, and students comfortable with various genders.
“Title IX and the ‘dear colleague’ letters make all of us, all institutions, more accountable for students who may be on the margins,” the dean of students at Georgia State University, Darryl Holloman, told Reuters in a Saturday report. Georgia State University had gender-inclusive housing for the first time during the 2015-2016 school year — students at the college, regardless of gender, are allowed to room together.
Purdue University, Arizona State University and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks are other universities that created gender-inclusive housing in the last year, according to Campus Pride.
“There are certainly some transgender students for whom it matters a lot but if it’s a gay man whose best friend is a lesbian and they decide they want to live together, this is an option,” Demere Woolway, director of LGBTQ life at Johns Hopkins University, told Reuters.
Reception of these gender-inclusive housing options are generally welcomed by students, according to reports.
Not many student are choosing gender-inclusive housing though. Only 30 of approximately 2,500 Johns Hopkins students signed up for the housing option the first year the university offered the choice. While about 60 students decided to live in gender-inclusive housing in the past school year.
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