Gender-neutral rooming – the option to room with people of any gender – is available in all campus housing except for the same-sex halls and dorms and in Keefe. Current students who choose to room together are not restricted by gender. 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-neutral 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-neutral 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-neutral 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-neutral rooming policies, Wheaton is among a select few that both allow gender-neutral rooming for all students and do not limit students who want a gender-neutral room to a particular area of campus.
Additionally all of the residence hall bathrooms at Wheaton are considered gender-neutral. All residents and their guests, regardless of any gender or gender identity may use the facilities.
Gender-neutral rooming was implemented in the spring of 2010 for current students and in the fall of 2010 for incoming students. Wheaton’s gender-neutral rooming policy was proposed by a group of students from the LGBTA Alliance, enthusiastically supported by the Student Government Association (SGA), and ultimately approved by the College Administration in November, 2009. For more information, please check out the Gender-Neutral Housing Proposal. There are FAQs