Gender Neutral Housing Shot Down

"School of Nursing: Relaxing in dorm," circa 1954. From Black and White Film Box 30, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Photographic Laboratory Collection, P0031.

“School of Nursing: Relaxing in dorm,” circa 1954. From Black and White Film Box 30, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Photographic Laboratory Collection, P0031.

"Dorm Life," 1999. News Services, Collection #40139.

“Dorm Life,” 1999. News Services, Collection #40139.

This morning, the University of North Carolina Board of Governors unanimously voted to reject gender neutral housing on the system’s sixteen campus. In light of our latest blog post on the gender and sexuality dialogue on our campus, this decision comes as an interesting development. See an article on the vote from WRAL here.

One argument against the move to institute gender neutral housing is that it is a “social experiment” and thus an inappropriate use of university funds. The arguments in favor of gender neutral housing focus around the desire to appropriately accommodate transgender students and others who may feel uncomfortable or who are bullied in traditional dorm environments because of their sexuality.

As you can see from the pictures to the right, dorm life within the university has changed over the years. What are your thoughts on the Board of Governors’ ban on gender neutral housing?

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4 Responses to Gender Neutral Housing Shot Down

  1. Madison says:

    It was incredibly arrogant and ill advised to vote against gender neutral housing. If keeping students in safest academic environment possible is an “inappropriate use if academic funds,” then the Board of Governors has lost sight of what our university is meant to be- the beacon of the South. UNC has already demonstrated that their administration struggles to identify with the challenges of present day college students with their handling of the many sexual assault and harassment cases on campus. It is a disappointing day indeed, but UNC students are not easily deterred, and I’m sure we’ll have a plan of action as the semester begins.

  2. Morgan Jones, Graduate Assistant says:

    Thank you for your thoughtful response, Madison! We agree. As you say, UNC students are full of determination. Student activists have often been in the front lines of social change both on campus and in the broader civic stage. We hope that student activism of all types continue to move forward on our campus. As a plan of action comes together, we here at the archives would be very interested in keeping in touch. Please feel free to contact us about ways to document your movement’s efforts.

  3. Emily Maebart says:

    I completely agree with the Board of Directors and think it is the right decision.

  4. Morgan Jones, Graduate Assistant says:

    Thank you for your response, Emily! We’d love to hear more from you as the debate continues.

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