The University of Connecticut seeks to provide a living environment welcoming to all gender identities. Since 2008, Gender Inclusive Housing has allowed for students of any gender to live together. Most students living in Gender Inclusive Housing are assigned to the 1st and 2nd floors of Brock Hall in Alumni Quadrangle in traditional double rooms. Undergraduate students of any class standing who are guaranteed housing, may request to live in this community. (Other institutions with similar communities use labels such as LGBT Housing, Spectrum, etc.)
Values and Expectations
- Participants must commit to maintaining a comfortable and safe living environment free from discrimination based on gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.
- Students will respect assigned roommates’ different motivations for choosing this community.
- Students will promote and use inclusive language as well as the chosen names and gender pronouns of community members.
- Students will demonstrate openness and desire to develop their own understanding about gender identity, sexual orientation, and other identities.
- It is the student’s choice to communicate with parents or family members about the decision to live in and participate in the GI Community. Residential Life and the Rainbow Center encourages this conversation between parents or family members and students about the housing choice so that they can be in support of the student’s decision. Residential Life and the Rainbow Center values the rights of its students and will not provide their personal residential information to anyone, including family members and/or guardians.
- Students will educate their guests about the values and community expectations of the gender inclusive community.
- Students understand they will be removed from the environment if they fail to abide by these standards.
- Co-ed floor/building: A floor or community in a residence hall for students of any gender.
- Single-sex building: A building that is designated as male or female. A building in West Campus and East Campus are identified to house only female students.
- Single-sex floor (co-ed building): A floor or community in a residence hall that is designated as male or female.
- Gender Inclusive: A floor or community that allows for students of any gender to live together regardless of assigned sex. Students who are assigned to this community must request to live in the community and accept the values and expectations.
Gender Transitioning Students
Students who are undergoing a gender transition process can find resources available at https://rainbowcenter.uconn.edu/transgender-uconn-quick-answers/
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the Gender Inclusive Community located?
The Gender Inclusive Community is located on the first and second floors of Brock Hall (Alumni Quadrangle). The remainder of the building is occupied by continuing Honors students.
Who chooses the Gender Inclusive Community option?
The Gender Inclusive Community exists for a range of students, including those who do not live as the gender assigned they were assigned at birth; students who do not identify with any gender; students who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual; students who wish to be allies to the transgender community; and students who appreciate the learning and growth stemming from experiences with gender diversity.
Like most universities, UConn discourages students of any sexual orientation who are in a relationship from living together in a residence hall space.
What does Gender Inclusive mean?
A floor or community that allows for students of any gender to live together regardless of assigned sex. Students who are assigned to this community must request to live in the community and accept the values and expectations.
How does Residential Life manage vacancies in the community?
If there are anticipated vacancies, Residential Life will communicate to the current Gender Inclusive Community that we have available spaces if they know of others that may be interested in living in the Gender Inclusive Community.
If we continue to have vacancies, we would consider consolidating the Gender Inclusive Community from 2 floors to 1 floor as well as reaching out to self-identified allies to offer them the opportunity to live in the community. Allies must also complete the Gender Inclusive Community Acceptance Form prior to assignment. If you have additional concerns feel free to contact Residential Life staff.
How can students indicate interest in the Gender Inclusive Community?
Students can select Gender Inclusive on their housing application (same section as Learning Communities). If a student has already submitted their application, they can write to firstname.lastname@example.org to indicate their interest in the community.
What types of spaces are available in the Gender Inclusive Community?
The Gender Inclusive Community is made up of primarily double rooms. A limited number of singles are available at a higher room rate.
How are students assigned in the Gender Inclusive Community?
The Gender Inclusive Community allows for students of any gender to live together. Students can request a specific roommate- that roommate must also be in the Gender Inclusive Community and the request must be mutual.
What do the bathrooms look like in the Gender Inclusive Community?
Bathrooms in the Gender Inclusive Community are all gender bathrooms. They are multi-stall, multi-shower facilities. All students in the community have access to the bathrooms at any time. The showers have individual stalls with shower curtains and toilets have individual stalls that lock.
What if a student identifies as transgender or non-binary and does not wish to live in the Gender Inclusive Community?
Residential Life works with transgender students and student who identify who identify outside of the gender binary on a case by case basis to assist them in finding compatible roommates and housing assignments that meet their needs.
Students who do not wish to live in the Gender Inclusive Community can reach out to Residential Life by emailing email@example.com and a staff member will reach out to the student to begin the conversation.
Why do we collect information about being an Ally?
This is located in My Housing under preferences. LGBTQ Ally: I am open to being a roommate to a student who identifies as Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning (LGBTQ).
If a student indicates that they are an ally, we may reach out to them to help identify them as a possible roommate for a student who identifies in the community and may want to live in a different location. Identifying as an ally will not cause automatic placement in the Gender Inclusive Community.
Is Gender Inclusive a Learning Community?
No, the Gender Inclusive Community is considered to be Special Interest Housing. Becoming a Learning Community creates an academic component to the community that students have not expressed interest in for various reasons. Therefore, it is considered a Living Community which offers the space to live together without additional Learning Community specific staffing, coursework or requirements.
Community Spotlight: Meet Robin Ventura!
Pronouns: He/Him or They/Them
Class Standing: Incoming Senior
Major: Fine Arts with a concentration in Illustration/Animation
Living in this community is like gaining a new family away from your biological family, and we all care about each other.
- Why did you choose to live in the Gender Inclusive Community?
I chose to live in Gender Inclusive as a freshman, because I was a trans person newly realizing I was trans, and I wanted to be around people going through similar things as me. I chose to stay, because I found a community here in Gender Inclusive that I would not trade for the world. The community is awesome.
- What surprised you the most about your Gender Inclusive living experience?
I think the most surprising thing was how much like a family this community really is. While I’m privileged to have an accepting family, I know that if things were different, at least I would still have the Gender Inclusive family. The community is my family at school. Everyone helps each other out. Everyone is there for each other. Everyone cares about each other. It’s something I never knew I could have at university, and am so happy I do have.
- Why would you encourage other students to think about joining the Gender Inclusive Community?
I would encourage anyone who is part of the LGBTQIA+ community to join, because it’s a space where you can find so many like-minded people who experience the same things as you, or similar things. I would encourage people who identify as Allies to join, because not only does it make a statement that says “hey, this is a community anyone can live in, because the students in Gender Inclusive are people like anyone else,” but it also helps build a trusting community, and a community that is accepting outside of just our little bubble on campus.
- What’s one thing every new GI community member should know prior to move in?
Every new person coming into Gender Inclusive should be aware of the fact that people are going to be shy at first. A lot of transgender students live in Gender Inclusive, and a lot of us are wary around new people. Give us a little while to warm up to the semester, and we’ll come right out of our shells.That or know that people are going to reach out if you seem like you’re in a bad spot mentally or otherwise. Living in this community is like gaining a new family away from your biological family, and we all care about each other.
Contact Information/Additional Resources
If you would like to speak with the Residential Life staff member that works with students in the Gender Inclusive Community please email Chrissy Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Residential Life main office at 860-486-2926.
UConn's Rainbow Center also has additional resources and services to support students in the LGBTQIA+ and Allied Community.