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Entries in Gender-Neutral Housing (1)

Tuesday
Mar012011

Tyler Clementi's Suicide Prompts Gender Neutral Housing at Rutgers

Photo Courtesy - Facebook(NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.) -- In reaction to the suicide of a gay student earlier this year, Rutgers University has decided to let students choose the gender of their dorm mates, giving male and female students the option of living together. The school also said it will not allow parents to veto their children's choices.

Rutgers, which is located in New Brunswick, N.J., will launch the pilot program this fall, giving many of its more than 42,000 undergraduate students the option to decide whether they would like to live with a male or a female student.

The policy is believed to have been born out of the suicide of Tyler Clementi, a freshman who jumped off the George Washington Bridge during the first weeks of school, after his male roommate allegedly recorded him having a "sexual encounter" with another man.

"In the aftermath of the Clementi tragedy, members of the university's LGBTQ community told the administration that gender neutral housing would help create an even more inclusive environment. Since then, the university has been exploring this in greater detail," said a statement from the university.

Joan Carbone, the university's executive director of residence life, told New Jersey's Star-Ledger that students will not be asked about their sexual orientation and will choose rooms just as they always have -- through a schoolwide lottery system. First-year students will only be able to request a roommate who is "supportive" of their sexual preference, according to the paper.

Rutgers joins a handful of universities across the nation that offer gender-neutral housing, according to The National Student Genderblind Campaign, a non-profit organization that advocates for students.

Questions arose after Clementi's suicide as to whether the freshman had requested a room reassignment from the university.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio