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Gender Inclusive Housing comes to Augustana

Gender Inclusive Housing comes to Augustana

Co-ed dorms will be offered in Ravine Residence starting September 2017

A new residence arrangement is coming to the Ravine complex in September 2017. Gender inclusive housing will be in place in the upcoming academic year, with every building in the complex being converted to gender inclusive housing.

Every building has been designated “gender inclusive” meaning that each building will have one wing of four rooms designated men only, one wing of four rooms designated women only, with one wing designated mixed gender.

Consultation regarding the change started in January with a survey sent out to residents. More than half of respondents were in favor of gender inclusive housing. Resident Assistants (RAs) were also consulted to get a sense of what their thoughts were on gender inclusive housing.

Executive Director of Student Life Randal Nickel explained that the Ravine Complex was chosen for two main reasons:

“One, it’s with returning students, who have developed friendships around people of any gender”, said Randal. “There is also a practical reason in the way the Ravine buildings are set up with the lockable bathrooms between the bedrooms. It can be done in a safe way.”

Ryan Baier, a third-year student, said he can foresee some challenges resulting from the change. “I think it will present a challenge for Res Life staff to deal with relationship issues when the couples are roommates,” he said.

Nickel did not close the door on gender inclusive housing in the First Year Complex: “In the long term based on how this experience goes and continued research on what other universities are doing,” said Nickel. “I think we would be open to consider it for a portion of the First Year complex.”

Gender Inclusive Housing is a pilot program that may change in its implementation after or during the first year it is in place.

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