CMC Considers Gender-inclusive Housing

Alex Smith • The Student Life

Claremont McKenna College students and administrators are currently discussing the campus’s potential for expanding its gender-inclusive housing in response to a proposal submitted by the Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) last spring. Currently, Beckett Hall is the only CMC residence hall offering gender-inclusive housing.

Though plans are still in the works, the Residential Life Committee is in the process of gathering and reviewing student input with the Dean of Students Office and SAGA. The committee will present to the ASCMC Senate Oct. 26.

“The most important things to consider are to communicate to students that people of traditional and non-traditional representations of gender identity can live in these gender-inclusive residence halls, and, specifically, have a roommate of any gender identity,” Eric Vos, assistant dean of students and director of residential life, wrote in an email to TSL.

“We want to ensure that students can have privacy when using the restrooms, which would be gender-inclusive,” Vos wrote. “We are already in the process of updating restroom signage in our residence halls, and we would update the signage of any residence halls that became gender-inclusive starting next year.”

According to Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College (ASCMC) Dormitory Affairs Chair Nicky Blumm CM '17, proposals are currently focused on Mid-Quad, and potential changes are expected to take place before room draw in spring 2016. The room draw process will continue to operate by seniority and a random lottery system.

In an ASCMC meeting last November, senators reviewed student feedback on the push for more gender-inclusive housing. According to the meeting minutes, some students were “not sure if [their] school is at the point where all of North Quad can be gender neutral but…should realize that it’s the long-term goal.”

Some students were also concerned about the potential for discomfort among conservative and international students, as well as the possibility of drop-in alumni donations, according to the meeting minutes. In addition, some students suggested that there could be a greater potential for stigmatization.

“I hope that, if these changes take place, it will bring the issues of gender identity and representation more into the collective consciousness of our student body,” Vos said. “I would also hope that students, regardless of gender identity, would feel safe and comfortable living in a variety of our residence halls.”

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