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Residential Council Minutes :: April 27, 2004

Members present: Jesse Goodman; Victor Long; Jonathan Marcus; Joshua Troy; Chris Guhin; Pamela Dubyak; Ada McElroy; Alexander Merkler; Adam Deitch; Brookes Brown; Allison Shaw; Brendan Hargreaves; Olanma Okoji

Members absent:

Lottery: Still over.

Policy: Nothing.

Program House: Spring Review tomorrow, 5:00 P.M., no chance for rescheduling.

Dean Jablonski thanks the Residential Council for help in consideration of lottery, especially in terms of the Housing Task Force. She looks forward to a report on the increase in co-ed housing stock and its subsequent effects. She also thanks us for helping with he struggling the department as a whole had last year with lack of staffing and support.

Director Bova thanks the Council and Pam personally, for a wonderful Lottery.

Addressing submitted questions, Bova spoke of gender neutral housing and its implementation. The idea morphed into a series of checkboxes that were to appear on freshmen housing forms, including gender neutral housing (as well as single sex, substance free, and RUE students). This was rejected by the Administration for balkanizing the groups. The University wanted and sent out a form that includes an option for identifying special needs for housing. Bova personally has tried and will continue to try to meet with transgender and other special needs students and to deal with their needs as much as he can. He, along with Jablonski, sought to make clear the continued desire to include Res. Council.

This rejection of checkboxes came from the Cabinet (President plus senior administrators). The spread of the story to The New York Times caused a reaction by the senior leadership and their desire to back-up the process. Both Bova and Jablonski did express a realization that without elucidating housing options they will not be fully utilized.

To a certain extent, self-identification as gender neutral is still required, but only to Res. Life administrators. This is currently without any gender mixing (i.e., a male to female transgender student would be placed with another male to female transgender student) , but gender mixing for those who are gender neutral will be examined by Bova in the upcoming days.

Hand assignments are made for disability assignments, to ensure their needs are met. A similar policy will be used for gender neutral housing.

Bova makes clear that this is not full gender neutral housing and notes that he would not yet support a gender neutral hallway, but is pushing forward.

The senior administration will be consulted with more ideas to move this process forward, including perhaps a list of program options as possibilities while still offering an open-ended question about special needs.

The concern of safety for transgender students was discussed, together with its implication of the perceptions of less safety when safety is addressed.

Submitted by Chris Guhin, Residential Council Secretary 2003-2004