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Center for Sex and Gender Relations

What is gender-neutral housing?

Typically, students living in the eight traditional residental halls (non-apartment halls) are housed by their legal sex - the sex that is listed on their birth certificate or driver's license, for example. For many students this system works just fine, but some students may not identify their gender (being a woman or a man) with what is marked as their legal sex (female or male) on their drivers license.

If this is the first time that you're thinking about these topics, it might be difficult to wrap your head around. That's okay. They are complex topics that some people are living with on a day-to-day basis. Try to think about it this way: some people do not feel like their gender matches the sex with which they were born. Some people who were born with female genitalia might actually define their gender as a man, and vice-versa. Some people may not identify as either a man or a woman, as our society defines masculinity and femininity.

For the majority of our students at Skidmore, being housed by their legal sex works just fine, but for some students this is a concern. For instance, if a person is legally a man, but identifies as a woman and is transitioning from being a male to a female (living as a woman, through dress, identification, possibly taking medication or contemplating a surgery, etc.) this housing arrangement can pose major problems.

With this in mind, Skidmore College has designated spaces where they house students without regard to legal sex and/or gender. To be housed in one of these rooms you need to request Gender Neutral Housing on your Housing Questionnaire that the Office of Residential Life sends over the summer. For more information about Gender Neutral Housing, please contact the Office of Residential Life at 518-580-5765.