The University of Nebraska Omaha is adding an option to their housing application next year. It is Gender Inclusive Housing. It will give students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender the option to live with other who identify as L.G.B.T.
The Gender Inclusive Housing allows students to voluntarily sign up for the housing option instead of identifying their sexuality on the housing questionnaire.
“We don't ask that, we think it's more important for the students to self identify,” said University Village Residential Director Ani Rodgers.
She said program helps protect a student's privacy, “we don't want to be intrusive into their lives, and it doesn't really affect how we are going to place students.”
Gender and Sexuality Resource Center director Jesse Hitchins said the new housing option also gives students new resources.
“I know where to go and ask the questions, and if i don't, I know how to ask the questions to get to the people who have the answers,” said Hitchins.
When students sign up for the inclusive housing, she immediately gives them information and support, “that's really empowering for students who may not have had that in high school.”
UNO had four students sign up for the inclusive housing option this school year even though it wasn't on the application.
“It was great to see student’s response and without any advertising, students and their parents were coming to us and saying thank you, how can my child get in,” said Rodgers.
She said the housing option is a way the school is trying to make to all students feel welcome at UNO
“It’s defiantly something that is becoming an issue and concern for a lot of universities, and I would say we are on the forefront of that,” said Rodgers.
For more information on UNO's Gender Inclusive Housing click here.