In a senate meeting on Monday night, members of the Boston University Student Union unanimously voted to continue development of a proposal to university administration for gender-neutral housing.
The vote urged Union’s outreach committee to continue working on a proposal, but does not pass or endorse the proposal itself.
“We saw that many of our peer schools offer gender neutral housing, and that was an alarm for us that maybe we should be doing this,” said Natalie Siddique, a Union member and a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. “We also have a significant gay, lesbian, transgender, transsexual community, and it’s our job to protect everyone in the student body.”
Union president Howard Male, a senior in the School of Management and the School of Hospitality Administration, agreed with Siddique.
“It is the responsibility of the Student Union to make sure that keeps moving with the times and that it continues to change,” Male said.
In an interview with The Daily Free Press last April, Siddique said BU’s lack of gender-neutreal housing can put some students into uncomfortable living situations.
“Students should feel comfortable and safe in their living environment, but the fact that the university lacks a gender-neutral housing policy suggests that some students are forced to live in situations that do not align with their specific circumstances,” she said.
BU Spokesman Colin Riley said the Dean of Students office would be open to any proposal on housing policy, but that there does not seem to be a large demand for gender-neutral housing.
According to their websites, both Northeastern University and Emerson University offer different gender-neutral housing options to students.
Members of last year’s Union said in April that the proposal could include a three-year pilot plan to implement the policy gradually. In the first year, test floors would be available in Student Village, where male and females students would share apartments but occupy different rooms.
The second year, gender-neutral housing would be open to all upperclassmen. In year three, gender-neutral housing would be available to all students.