Breaking: Deans Approve Open Housing, Pilot Program Coming in the Fall

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Bwog has received word that Dean of Student Affairs Kevin Shollenberger and CC 2011 President Sean Udell just announced that Deans Moody-Adams and Peña-Mora have approved the long-debated issue of gender-neutral housing. This means that a pilot program can begin in the fall. It will be an option in Wien, EC, Nussbaum, Ruggles, Woodbridge, and Claremont.

Update, 10:51am: When asked to comment, Udell said, “The Open Housing pilot program is a big step forward for Columbia, and I am absolutely thrilled that it’s happening here.”

Update, 1pm: Bwog just checked in again with Udell, who gave us a look at what’s next for Open Housing. The Queer Alliance/Everyone Allied Against Homophobia groups who got this whole show on the road last year will work with the new pilot program. The Open Housing student committee will work with Housing Services to draft up an official Open Housing policy so that the new system will be in place for Room Selection this March. Udell noted that Open Housing is still technically a pilot program but doesn’t “expect anything less than this being a success as it moves forward.” Freshpeople, oldpeople, take a look at Bwog’s coverage of Gender Neutral/Open Housing (since November 2008) here for some context.

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  1. AWESOME!!!

    <3 Sean Udell!!

  2. Anonymous

    This is pretty cool. Good job Sean. If only I wasn't a senior and could actually take advantage of this...

  3. Congrats  

    to Sarah Weiss '10 for actually getting this started last year. She doesn't get half the credit she deserves for this!

  4. CAN  


  5. Anonymous  

    oh man... the beds are gonna be a'knockin every night now

  6. OK, so  

    This is fine, I guess. But a much bigger concern that affects more people is the university's stance on winter housing-- we're headed in the wrong direction. Registration for winter housing is bad enough, but it could be just an omen of future changes, like charging us to stay over winter break (which I think Barnard already has to do).

    Instead of making a big deal out of frivolities that not many students are going to utilize, we really need to re-focus on issues that affect many more of us-- the university is losing the plot on Winter Housing, and has already gone crazy on Dining with the ridiculous new changes that made JJ's and Ferris swipe-only (people without meal plans can't even sit there any more), and set John Jay up to be open... only 5 days a week??

    These are direct consequences of the university tightening its purse strings after the budget crunch, but these measures are now impinging on some basic things that matter to students. So instead of carrying forth the campaign for Gender-Neutral housing and other luxuries (worthwhile though they may be), let's make sure we all at least have the ability to stay in our rooms, gender-neutral or not, over winter break first.

    • Excellent point  

      Housing needs its priorities straightened.

    • you misunderstand  

      the registration for winter break has nothing to do with cost and everything to do with planning for your safety. housing and residential programs have both realized that they have no way of gauging the volume of students staying here for the break, and therefore no way of knowing how many public safety officers are required to protect the dorms. to you it might not seem like there's much danger or any real need, but for the past few fall breaks, more and more students have been staying and bringing non-columbia people into the dorms with them to party and do whatever. registration is simply to get an idea of what is going on over winter break, so housing and residential programs can respond accordingly with the right number of officers, and possibly, winter RA's. if has nothing to do with charging you, which is why it is FREE and open to EVERYBODY.

      if anyone wants to stay over break, please register! it is free and only takes a minute!

      p.s i am assuming you are straight and possibly male, which is why gender neutral housing would seem like an unnecessary "luxury" to you.

  7. yeah  

    i completely agree. who gives a fuck about gender neutral housing when they are about to make us pay for winter break and absolutely sloughtering the meal plan?!

  8. Anonymous

    GNH isn't a luxury for people who are uncomfortable living with those of the same gender in a double. Both issues are important, regardless of the number of students affected. How many students use winter housing? How many students will take advantage of "open housing?" Who cares? It's just common sense that people should be able to pick whomever they want to be their roommate, and it's common sense that we should be allowed to stay in our dorms, where most of our belongings are, during winter break. Policy should reflect that.

    • hmm  

      Don't just take it for granted that it's 'common sense' people should be allowed to live with whom they want.

      I understand that this is primarily for people uncomfortable rooming with the same gender, but it will have a wide effect. I think that college couples shacking up is a serious danger. Not morally, but for their sanity's sake. I know of only one couple mature enough to handle that. Think about a guy and girl hastily rooming together and (a) romance going sour over the summer, or (b) they grow to hate one another once they realize annoying personal habits. It could be a lot of friction and distraction from what we're here to do--study. Seems like a recipe for drama.

    • pico  

      I'm not against GNH, but I'd like to point out that it isn't as if queer students haven't had options. Single rooms, for example...

  9. nypost  

    Does this mean we'll be living in sin on our parents' dime?

  10. dude  

    the gay community must be elated today. sean manning udell , tremendous job!

  11. your jealous sexiled roommate  

    More couples living together means less awkwardness for me. Until you break up, bwhahahaha!

  12. Anonymous  

    GNH- providing privacy for abusive relationships... but now with more space!

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