Offering Affirming Housing Options
Housing & Residence Life offers an inclusive housing option to students who wish to request roommates regardless of their sex or gender identity. We also offer individual assistance for students who wish to explore on-Grounds housing options that accommodate their gender identity or gender expression.
Please know that if you would like to speak to a staff member regarding your housing needs, or housing options that accommodate your gender identity or expression, we can answer your questions via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (434.924.3736). Please note that any information you share with our staff will be kept confidential.
I’m nervous that I won’t feel comfortable in a housing situation if I am housed by my sex assigned at birth as indicated in my application to UVA. I want to live in a space that feels affirming for me. How do I indicate this on the housing application?
There are a few ways to do this:
1. HRL offers an inclusive housing option, known as Open Housing, to students who wish to request roommates regardless of their sex or gender identity. More information is available on our website and as part of the housing application.
a. Students might find this option helpful if they know another student who is interested in living with them and is exploring this housing option.
b. Please be sure to indicate your interest in this option on the housing application, or email email@example.com, prior to the housing application deadline of June 1.
2. If your gender marker in the housing application does not align with how you see yourself, you can update your gender marker by following the instruction in the application. Note that students do not have to update their legal gender marker to update the marker in the HRL system. Currently, there are only two options for “gender” in our system: Male (M) or Female (F). These gender markers are used to place students into “Male” or “Female” designated halls.
a. A few examples of students who might find this option helpful are:
i. Women/girls who were assigned male at birth or men/boys who were assigned female at birth.
ii. Any transmasculine person assigned female at birth or transfeminine person assigned male at birth.
What is the difference between Mixed Gender Housing and Open Housing?
Mixed Gender Housing is comprised of rooms, suites, or apartments of different genders that are located within the same Resident Advisor group. Individual rooms, suites, and apartments within Mixed Gender Housing generally contain students of the same sex or gender.
- Incoming first-year students can opt to live in Mixed Gender Housing on the housing application. Examples of first-year Mixed Gender Housing include a mixed gender floor in a hall-style residence area, with wings or rooms occupied by students of a different gender, or a suite-style RA group that contains suites occupied by students of different genders.
- In upperclass housing areas, hall-style residences have single-gender RA groups, and all suites and apartments are considered Mixed Gender Housing.
Open Housing allows students to request roommates regardless of their gender identity within the same room, suite, or apartment. All residents who wish to participate in an Open Housing assignment must mutually agree to the assignment. Students can request Open Housing by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the housing application deadline or by checking the box on the housing application to indicate their interest.
In addition to Mixed Gender Housing and Open Housing, we offer individual assistance for students who wish to explore on-Grounds housing options that affirm their gender identity or gender expression. This includes assisting students whose gender marker in the housing application does not align with their gender identity, or students who are uncomfortable using a gendered community bathroom. To learn more, contact our Assignments staff at email@example.com or check the box on the housing application to indicate your interest in receiving more information.
The Open Housing webpage says that HRL offers “individual assistance for students who wish to explore on-Grounds housing options that affirm gender identity or gender expression.” What kinds of options have been explored and accommodated for students in the past?
- HRL is willing to work with any student to help them find housing options that affirm their gender identity or gender expression. A few examples of housing options that have been explored in the past are:
- Living in a “suite style” room with a 3-4 roommates and a bathroom shared between roommates (e.g. for a student who feels uncomfortable using a gendered-hall bathroom with a gendered hall).
- Access to a private bathroom on a gendered hall.
- Access to a single room and a private bathroom (please note that there are a limited number of single rooms available).
- In order to explore additional housing options, students can contact firstname.lastname@example.org, including as much detail as they are comfortable sharing about their housing concerns. It is not necessary for students to share information about their gender identity in this email if they do not wish to do so.