February 4, 2008

Gender-Neutral Document

For those of you who are interested, here is the official proposal written by the VSA on gender-neutral housing. The Committee on College Life will be discussing the resolution on Wednesday, February 6th.

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Whereas the VSA Council recognizes that mandatory same-sex rooming can inhibit personal and academic growth and that housing policy and practice should empower students to choose safe and supportive living spaces;

Whereas Vassar College seeks to create a residential environment that "obliges students to master the art of living cooperatively in a diverse community" (Vassar College Mission Statement);

Because "the Office of Residential Life is committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive residential environment that is dedicated to the development of the whole student" (Office of Residential Life, http://residentiallife.vassar.edu);

Because Vassar College commits to non-discrimination with respect to "sexual orientation, gender identity or expression…in any of the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the college" (Vassar College Nondiscrimination and Nonharassment Policy);

Whereas the current practice props up a male/female binary, assumes the correspondence between legal sex, biological sex, and gender identity, and privileges those whose gender identities correspond with dominant notions of sex, gender, and sexual orientation;

Recognizing that Vassar College has a responsibility to create a housing policy inclusive of all members of the college community regardless of sex, gender, or sexual orientation;

Whereas the VSA Council recognizes students' rights to define their own gender and sexual orientation and to make appropriate housing decisions for themselves based on those aspects of identity;

Whereas the VSA Council recognizes the complexities of identity surrounding sex, gender, and sexual orientation, and that incoming freshmen may not fully envision what a gender-neutral living environment entails;

Therefore, be it resolved that:

1. The VSA Council strongly supports and encourages the institution of Gender Neutral Housing in the April room draw, as proposed by the Office of Residential Life.

2. Pursuant to Article V, Section 3D of the VSA Constitution, the student delegation to the Committee on College Life will convey the sense of Council on this matter.

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The Class of 2011 President has directed our attention to this site for more information.

It's actually not that big of a deal to us. We weighed in on the issue, just as many of you now have.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This should only happen if they're willing to make concessions and have a few single sex halls and bathroom. It's only fair.

Anonymous said...

we don't currently have single sex halls and bathrooms. except strong. why would that change?

Anonymous said...

Because the argument for Gender-Neutral housing is that a demand for it exists, and it's important to make sure students feel comfortable in their living arrangement. I'd like to live on an all-male floor, with an all-male bathroom. I can handle the current system, but I'd be more comfortable with single-sex living, so why can others be accomodated but not me?