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WSA: Gender Neutral Resolution
September, 2004

WHEREAS Wesleyan University has a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression;

WHEREAS proper implementation of this policy necessitates a space for nondiscrimination in roommate assignments, on the basis of the above characteristics;

WHEREAS gender identity and biological sex are separate and distinct concepts;

WHEREAS students’ biological sexes are not necessarily indicative of their gender identities;

WHEREAS neither biological sex nor gender identity are confined to male/female or man/woman binaries;

WHEREAS the historical rationale for same-sex roommate assignments is based upon antiquated heterosexist assumptions and obsolete concerns which no longer factor into University Housing Policy;

WHEREAS standing University policy allows for sophomore, junior and senior roommate assignments without regard to sex or gender;

WHEREAS upper-class students living in first-year housing areas are permitted to have roommates who do not share the same biological sex;

WHEREAS, in view of the above, mandating same-sex roommate assignments for first-year students presents a double standard;

WHEREAS, the WSA recognizes that a residential setting where biological sex is not taken into consideration for housing placement creates a safer and more supportive housing environment;

WHEREAS single room assignments, as opposed to doubles may present unwanted financial and social burdens to first-year students;

WHEREAS the Universal Gender Neutral Housing policy was established to provide a safe space for people who are questioning their gender identity, who do not wish for others to make assumptions about their gender identity, and including those who do not specifically identify as transgender or transexual;

WHEREAS the Universal Gender Neutral Housing Policy intends to create a safe and supportive residential community by only placing individuals who have requested gender neutral housing together as roommates;

WHEREAS the Wesleyan residential community promotes itself as a responsible, inclusive learning community;

WHEREAS the Undergraduate Residential Life Committee instituted a Universal Gender Neutral Housing Policy in the spring of 2004, after much administrative and student feedback, and with the full understanding and support of the Office of Residential Life;

WHEREAS the administrative decision to revoke the aforementioned policy occurred without communication with the Wesleyan Community, and in particular the Wesleyan Student Assembly, and at such time that it was impossible for the student body to respond;

THEREFORE, be it resolved that the WSA recognizes the right of any and all students, including incoming first-year students, to define their own gender and make housing decisions irrespective of that definition.

THEREFORE, be it further resolved that the WSA strongly supports and encourages the reinstitution of the Universal Gender Neutral Housing Policy as it was approved and implemented by the Undergraduate Residential Life Committee and the Office of Residential Life in the spring of 2004.

Passed Unanimously

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