Gender Neutral Housing
Housing and Food Services strives to provide a safe, inclusive, comfortable, and supportive living environment for all students residing on campus at University Park. We offer the option of gender-neutral housing for students who, because of gender identify or gender expression, prefer this option. This allows students who identify as transgender* and gender non-confirming* the ability to choose a roommate of any gender.
In addition to working with students individually to identify a housing assignment that works best, Penn State offers the Ally House, a Special Living Option located in West Halls, which provides an open, safe, and inclusive environment for students. The Ally House is a collaboration between Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Ally (LGBTQA) Student Resource Center and the Sexuality and Gender Studies minor offered by the College of Liberal Arts. Ally House fosters a community dedicated to knowledge and understanding of sexuality and gender issues. Student Programs and academic opportunities support these goals. Any student interested in residing in this special living option may indicate Ally House on the HFS Contract as a preference in the "Special Living Option" section.
If a student is interested in a gender-neutral room assignment, our staff will work with you in a personal and confidential manner to discuss your options available. It is important to contact us early in the process so that we may offer the widest range of housing options. There is no guarantee that a particular space will be available.
To discuss your interest and options available, please contact one of our staff members:
- Jennifer Garvin, Director Ancillary Services 814-865-7543
- Mark Rameker, Senior Director Residence Life 814-863-1710
- Sonya Wilmoth, Assistant Director, LGBTQA Student Resource Center 814-863-1248
Housing space a student may be assigned to include:
- single or double room with private bath
- single or double room with a gender-neutral bathroom in close proximity
- single or double room with attached semi-private bathroom shared with another single or double room
Additional resources are available for gender-neutral students through the University's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Ally (LGBTA) Student Resource Center.
For the purpose of gender-neutral housing, gender non-conforming is a term for individuals whose gender expression is different from social expectations related to gender.
Gender expression is the external manifestation of one's gender identity, usually expressed through "masculine", "feminine", or gender variant behavior, clothing, haircut, voice, or body characteristics.
Transgender is a term for people whose gender identity, expression, or behavior is different from those typically associated with their assigned sex at birth, including but not limited to transsexuals, cross-dressers, androgynous people, genderqueers, and gender non-conforming people.
Definition Source: National Center for Transgender Equality; Mara Keisling, Executive Director http://transequality.org.