University Housing to Offer Mixed-Gender Housing

Monday, January 12 2009


Statement on Mixed-Gender Housing (Jan. 22, 2009): Today the University of Idaho issued this statement on behalf of President Steven Daley-Laursen: “After visiting and reviewing the actual physical configuration of the suites that had been proposed for co-ed housing in the future, I have decided that we will not use the suites for this purpose. While the suites offer private and secure sleeping accommodations, they also feature a shared, secure bathroom space, which I am not comfortable offering to students of opposite gender. Consequently, I have ordered the discontinuation of the plan to offer these accommodations at the University of Idaho.” NOTE FOR CLARIFICATION (Jan. 21, 2009): The University of Idaho received several communications regarding whether the University plans to allow students of opposite genders to live in the same room within the suite configuration, we regret not making clear in the original release: the University does not plan to allow students of opposite genders to live in the same room. Jan. 12, 2009 Written by Tina Deines MOSCOW, Idaho – Students in University of Idaho Housing will have the option of living in suites with anyone they choose, regardless of biological sex, starting fall 2009. Students at sophomore level or above who would like to live in a Living Learning Community may elect to live in the University Housing’s newest mixed-gender community. Ray Gasser, director of University Housing, said the department is following a new trend in campus housing by allowing opposite gender suites. Other schools that offer this option include the University of California-Berkeley, Oregon State University and New York University. “Many campuses across the region have begun to offer this option,” Gasser said. “We believe that many upper-class students move off campus to live in apartments with friends of both genders and think that it is important to offer this type of accommodation.” In the past, students in the living learning communities could live in a suite with only members of the same sex, although halls were co-ed. Living Learning Communities consist of apartment-style suites with two to four personal rooms in each. These individual rooms may be single (meaning only one person lives in the room) or double (two people occupy the room). Gasser said the LLCs are the perfect location for this type of community because they have separate bedrooms, so that men and women can reside within the same suite while also maintaining privacy in separate bedrooms. While suites will be opened to either sex, it is uncertain whether University Housing will allow students of opposite gender to live in the same room within a suite. Gasser said he thinks the introduction of mixed gender communities will generate a lot of student interest. “I think this option is going to have some immediate interest for students to consider returning to the halls for another year,” Gasser said. “University Housing offers the greatest assurance for students who are seeking academic success. We don’t want those students to leave simply because we have put barriers up in their living accommodations.” For more information about University Housing, visit www.students.uidaho.edu/housing.
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About the University of Idaho Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 150 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. For information, visit www.uidaho.edu. Contact: Tina Deines, University Housing, (208) 885-7883, tdeines@uidaho.edu



About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit www.uidaho.edu.