The University of Utah is taking more steps to accommodate LGBT students. Beginning in the fall, gender-neutral housing will be an option for on campus and University officials say the dorm is already filling up.
Last year the University of Utah was named one of the country's top 25 friendly schools for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. Huffington Post and Campus Pride ranked the U LGBT friendly in nearly every category, except housing and residential life.
Now, in an effort to improve that ranking the University is introducing gender-neutral dorm.
“It has been something that we have talked about with the LGBT resource center for a couple of years now and with the ranking, the timing was right,” said Barb Remsburg, Director of Housing and Residential Education. She says Alliance House in Officer’s Circle will now accommodate students with different circumstances.
“Individuals who identify as transgender, gender-queer; individuals who under our current policy would have to live with someone of their same gender, would be able to live with someone, if they chose with who they feel most comfortable.”
Kai Martinez, is the Director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Resource Center on Campus. He said the housing accommodations have been student-driven.
“Students have been voicing for the last few years an opportunity to room with someone regardless of their gender identity and expression.”
Applications for the dorm just opened and University officials say the house, which houses 12, is already half full. They say that is more demand for the Alliance House than in years passed.