UNC Charlotte to consider gender neutral housing - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

UNC Charlotte to consider gender neutral housing

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UNC Charlotte is the latest university in the state to consider gender-neutral housing as an option for on-campus housing.

The request was initiated by transgendered students who want to live on campus. Anthony Dondera, who was born a female and is transitioning to a male, says he was to live in a female dorm. He thought that would have been dangerous.

He says he knows of other transgendered students who were having trouble with their dormitory assignments.

"They were biologically male," Dondera said. "Were transitioning to female, who were living in male dorms - who were being harassed and were getting threatened. They had to hide who they were or move off campus."

Dondera thinks if gender neutral housing happened at UNC Charlotte, students would be safer because other students would decide who to room with no matter the sex.

"In our option," Dondera said. "We have made a space where students can chose who they are living with, rather than just being randomly assigned."

The Student Government Association plans to introduce the Safe Housing Act, which if passed, requests that the university's housing office create a living space on campus for students who want to live in a gender neutral environment.

This would be only for students who want to opt in. Many think this type of living is right.

"We are supposed to be training for the real world," Dondera said. "And training for life after college. So part of that training is how to live with people who may not be your biological sex."

Students have mixed feelings. Meagan Campbell fears this new living arrangement could be bad. Since UNC Charlotte has had recent trouble with a sexual assault on campus, having co-ed rooms would be more risky.

"I feel like more problems could come from it than less." Campbell said.

UNC Chapel Hill already has gender neutral housing on its campus where students can have same sex or opposite sex roommates.

Student Body President Conor Dugan says a vote on the proposal is not expected Thursday at the next student government meeting because more information needs to be gathered.

Dugan says in order for it to happen it needs to be determined of the change can work on UNCC's campus.

The campus has released this statement:

"Providing a diverse and inclusive campus culture is important at UNC Charlotte. Students will vote on a resolution within Student Government requesting that "Gender Non-Specific Housing" be an option for students living on campus. The department of housing and residence life and the division of student affairs will review the formal request from SGA, and based on a thorough campus dialogue will make a recommendation to the chancellor. Formal consideration of gender neutral housing is still in the early stages, but it is ongoing."

Discussions will resume next year.

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