'Gender-Neutral' Dorms Start at Rutgers

Move comes in wake of gay student Tyler Clementi's suicide
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2011 6:54 PM CST
Rutgers Adopts Gender-Neutral Dorm Policy After Tyler Clementi Suicide
In this Oct. 3, 2010, file photo, people participate in a candlelight vigil for Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi on campus.   (AP Photo/Reena Rose Sibayan, File)

(Newser) – Rutgers is going to let students of the opposite sex dorm together for the first time, a "gender-neutral" policy designed to make the campus more accommodating to gay students, reports the Star-Ledger. The move comes in the wake of last year's high-profile suicide of Tyler Clementi. Students won't be asked to reveal their sexual preference, and they'll be able to name a roommate of either sex. Parents can't veto the pick.

The policy won't be open to freshmen, but first-year students can request a roommate who supports their sexual preference. It will start in three dorms as a pilot program. "I’m really glad they did it, although I wish it wouldn’t have taken as long," one transgender student tells the newspaper. "We live in a world where in order to be considered a human being you have to be male or female, and not everyone fits into that kind of binary. It’s important to have spaces where people don’t necessarily have to worry." (Read more Rutgers stories.)

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