Residential Life

By default, Brown places most first-year students into double or triple rooms (i.e., one room, two or three residents) with a roommate of the same legal sex. Most roommate pairs are assigned a room on a hallway that houses students of different genders, however students may request to live on an all-male or all-female hallway.

What is Gender-Inclusive Housing?

For some students, being automatically placed with a roommate or roommates of the same legal sex may not best provide for a student's comfort or safety. Gender Inclusive Housing is intended primarily for students whose gender identity and/or legal sex do not allow them to be comfortable with a traditional roommate assignment (including but not limited to students who identify as transgender, genderqueer, etc.). However, any student may opt into the program; additional students opting in are most likely to be allies of transgender students who wish to support the availability of gender-inclusive housing.

Opt-in Process

Each student who opts into Gender Inclusive Housing will be contacted individually by Brown Residential Life before being assigned a roommate. A student who opts into Gender Inclusive Housing will always be placed with another student who has elected Gender Inclusive Housing. A student who requests Gender Inclusive Housing may be placed with a roommate of any gender identity and any legal sex (including their own).

If Residential Life is unable to place all students who elect the Gender Inclusive Housing option (for example, because there is an odd number of students interested), each student will be contacted.

Frequently Asked Questions

The gender inclusive option exists for a range of students, including those who do not live as the gender assigned at birth; students who do not identify with any gender; students who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual; students who wish to be allies to the transgender community; students who appreciate the learning and growth stemming from experiences with gender diversity; and students who prioritize characteristics like neatness or bed time over gender in roommate preferences.

We do not question a student's motives for wanting to live in a gender inclusive housing option. Like most Universities, however, Brown discourages students of any sexual orientation who are in a relationship from living together in a residence hall housing unit.

No. This is a fully opt-in process and we will contact every interested student to ensure that they fully understand their decision to live in Gender Inclusive Housing before we assign them to housing.

As with all first-year students at Brown, you will be assigned at least one roommate and a double or triple room in a first-year residence hall. Room and roommate assignments are distributed during the summer before move-in. The only difference in the process will be that you will be assigned a roommate from the pool of other first-year students who selected the Gender Inclusive Housing option.

After the first year, students select roommates and rooms through Housing Selection in the spring.

We encourage you to talk openly and communicate boundaries with a new roommate, whatever your housing assignment. Conflicts and concerns can develop between any first-year roommates. You may bring any concerns to the Office of Residential Life where professional staff, like the Area Coordinators, will be happy to talk and work with you. Mediation services and, in some circumstances, room changes are available.

We strongly encourage you to maintain an open dialogue with your family about all important issues while you are at Brown. If your family has concerns about you choosing gender Inclusive housing, listen carefully to what they have to say and try to respond to those concerns. We hope that, with on-going dialogue, families can be supportive of students' housing decisions. As will be true throughout your time at Brown, you will need to determine the best option for you and your family. If you would like assistance in approaching this topic with your family, please contact the staff at the LGBTQ Center.

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