Boston University approves gender-neutral housing

bu boston university
Students walk to and from the Boston University campus along Commonwealth Avenue.

Boston University has become the latest institute of higher learning to do away with a policy that segregates dorm rooms by gender. 

The university said Tuesday that President Robert Brown approved a recommendation to introduce gender-neutral housing as an option to most students. The option begins this fall in a direct-swap program and will expand in the spring.

Freshman students are not eligible for the gender-neutral housing option because the school assigns their residence hall.

“This is about empowering students to make choices about how they live and giving them a greater measure of control over their college experience,” Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore said in a statement. “This is really about your choice of who you live with. Your preference about gender and how you perceive it is really not our concern.”

According to BU, a 2012 survey conducted by the student government showed that about 2,000 supported the policy change and that about 500 students would chose the option themselves.

Besides freshman residence halls, rooms and suites within specialty housing are not available to be gender neutral. Also, the school is excluding large, dormitory-style residence halls with shared community bathrooms from the new policy.

The school also said that no student will be required to live in gender-neutral housing without their consent.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.



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