Gender inclusive rooming – the option to room with people of any gender – is available in all campus housing except for the Common Interest Community of Female to Nonbinary housing. Students who choose to room together are not restricted by gender or gender identity. Incoming students can express a preference on their housing questionnaire for a roommate of the same gender, a roommate of a different gender, or that the gender of their roommate is not important to them.
Gender inclusive rooming allows all students to figure out how gender might factor into their rooming preferences. Wheaton College recognizes that some students, regardless of sexual orientation, are most comfortable rooming with others of the same gender. The gender inclusive rooming option also ensures that students who are transgender, intersex, or otherwise do not identify within the gender binary, do not need to “out” themselves to the Office of Residential Life in order to be comfortable in their rooming situations.
Our gender inclusive rooming policy reflects Wheaton’s commitment to gender equality and to fostering an inclusive living and learning environment. The policy also reflects the importance Wheaton places on providing students with a variety of housing options. While an increasing number of college and university campuses in the U.S. have gender inclusive rooming policies, Wheaton is among a select few that both allow gender inclusive rooming for all students and do not limit students who want a gender inclusive room to a particular area of campus.
Additionally, all of the residence hall bathrooms at Wheaton are considered gender inclusive. All residents and their guests, regardless of any gender or gender identity, may use the facilities in all residence halls and houses.
Gender inclusive rooming was implemented in the spring of 2010 for current students and in the fall of 2010 for incoming students. Wheaton’s gender inclusive rooming policy was proposed by a group of students from the LGBTQ+ Alliance, enthusiastically supported by the Student Government Association (SGA), and ultimately approved by the College Administration in November 2009.
For more information concerning LGBTQ+ support on campus, you can connect with The Network for LGBTQ+ Inclusion, Support, and Advocacy.