Tulane should advertise gender-neutral housing options

Kevin Young, Staff Writer

The following is an opinion article and opinion articles do not reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.

Tulane University has a five-star rating with Campus Pride for its pro-LGBT policies and environment, and is nestled within one of the world’s gayest cities. Like other elite universities, but unlike most universities in general, Tulane has an office and personnel dedicated to gender and sexuality issues. Despite these successes, however, Tulane fails to advertise its gender-neutral housing options.

Tulane is one of many universities that allows students to live in gender-neutral dorms and suites. If a gay man, like myself, wants to live with a straight woman, a transgender individual, and an androgynous student, all he has to do is fill out the paperwork with Housing and Residence Life and the Office for Gender and Sexual Diversity, and they can live together in a suite in Wall Residential College, an Aron apartment or anywhere in Tulane housing as long as the number of their persons is equal to the number of beds in their housing option.

Nevertheless, few Tulane students are informed of this possibility. If one visits the Division of Student Affairs website, the page erroneously says that Tulane does not have gender-neutral housing. This information is not easily found without meeting personally with Red Tremmel, director of the Office for Gender and Sexual Diversity.

As a flamboyant gay man who was terrified of the prospect of having to possibly dorm with a straight man during my freshman year, this information would have been incredibly helpful in my early formative years at Tulane. It would be helpful for others as well.

There is considerable evidence to suggest that the majority of LGBT individuals who are required to have a roommate have fretted over what their roommate might think of them, or how they may be treated. If Tulane simply advertised gender-neutral housing options more openly, the lives of all LGBT Tulanians would be made easier.

Kevin Young is a sophomore in the Newcomb-Tulane College. He can be reached at [email protected]