Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education

Transgender Housing
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Author:  Victoria_Hayes [ Fri Nov 16, 2007 2:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Transgender Housing

In Thursday's edition of "The Appalachian" there is a story about establishing transgender housing in residence halls. There is currently a committee that is working to find ways to make Housing and Residence Life more accomodating to transgender students. One possibility is to cluster rooms of transgender students together. I personally do not believe that option will be a good solution because I feel that it may simply create a target for more segregation.

What do you think about transgender housing? How do you think this issue should be handled?

Author:  shannonlynn [ Fri Nov 16, 2007 8:56 pm ]
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I also seen that article in the paper. I did not realize there were that many trans gender on our campus personally. I feel that it will cause segregation, but from my understanding they want that in a sense. That they do not feel comfortable living with the norm. I think it would be a good thing probably for them and other people as well. It may keep them a little safer and maybe not get picked on as much either.

Author:  Chris_Walz [ Mon Nov 19, 2007 5:19 pm ]
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I agree with Shannon that it would make their lives easier. The transition to college can be difficult enough without trying to explain to a roommate that you don't feel like the gender you represent. I don't see it as a segregation thing although I can see that side too. No, you can't always avoid the situation, but it would help ease the transition and would thwart any kind of misunderstanding that could happen. I don't think it would be wise to label one floor in one dorm specifically for transgendered students as that might cause some tension, but leave it anonymous in dorms that already have co-ed floors.

Author:  Tiffany_Mease [ Tue Nov 20, 2007 7:08 am ]
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I agree Chris. I feel that if they specifically label certain floors or sections of the building as transgender it will further segregate them, but on a much higher level. It would make public the topic that some feel they need to keep quiet. It would only make more problems for them and would probably discourage other transgender students from wanting to stay in a dorm where they have their own floor to live on, being seperated from the rest of the students living there. I do feel that having a transgender dorm or some rooms in the dorm to be transgender to be a good idea. Like Chris said, some already feel self-counscious enough without having to explain to their roommate their situation. As is true for just about any situation, it is always easier to talk to someone who has gone through or is currently going through the same things you are.

Author:  Chelsey_Minish [ Fri Nov 23, 2007 4:52 pm ]
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Wow, I don't know how I would handle the situation. I think, just like the rest of you guys, that creating a floor or section of a dorm for transgender people would be very segregating. I think that this might create as many problems for them as living with a roommate who doesn't understand their situation. I think that the college stresses diversity so much and that this would just be a step backwards. However, putting myself in the shoes of the roommate of the transgender person, I would not be very comfortable in such a situation and would understand my roommates uncomforting feelings as well. I am not sure of a solution but I don't think this is a very good one.

Author:  melanie_wright [ Sun Nov 25, 2007 7:04 pm ]
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I think special housing for transgender people would be very segregating. I think it would be even easier for people to commit hate crimes and such. I can also understand that living with a roommate who doesn't understand your situation may be hard and cause problems. In my opinion, special housing would only cause more problems though. I agree with Chris that transgender housing should be dispersed anonymously in different dorms and not a particular floor or dorm if the college decides to create this sort of housing.

Author:  Ashley_Harris [ Sun Nov 25, 2007 9:09 pm ]
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I could understand wanting transgender housing if the dorms on campus were divided into male and female dorms. However, the majority of dorms on campus are co-ed and many floors in these dorms are also co-ed. I do not see why it would be a problem for a transgender person to live on a co-ed floor since it is not gender labeled.

Author:  gayle [ Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:06 am ]
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I think one point you all may be missing is that transgendered students feel the need to have support and solidarity in an often hostile world. Having a floor in a dorm could help provide this. Perhaps the non-transgendered might choose to live there, too, as part of providing this support.

Author:  chase_mcneill [ Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:50 pm ]
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Perhaps it might be a good idea to make it an option on the housing application. Such as a box that says "I am interested in specialized transgendered housing" or "I am comfortable with a transgendered roommate." Obviously some of the wording might need modification, but I think it definitely needs some consideration and I think that maybe non-transgendered students need to have the option to live with a transgendered student if they want to help support.

Author:  Jake Orange [ Tue Nov 27, 2007 3:24 pm ]
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Being employed as an RA (2nd year) for the Department of Housing and Residence Life, I understand this need for trans gendered buildings. Housing tries to accommodate for all freshman students. Some trans gendered students can pull off their true gender, and others obviously struggle. It is hard for these students to connect to a "male" or "female" community. Even Co-Ed buildings are typically segregated: males on one end and females on the other. The large issue here is communal bathrooms. Other students may be extremely uncomfortable with a trans gendered student using a "male" or "female" designated bathroom. As residence halls are being renovated, housing is placing "unisex" bathrooms or "handicapped accessible" bathrooms in them for trans gendered students. I also think that it is policy that if a student is openly trans gendered, they can go to the housing department and request a single room with private bathroom (or suite-styled bathroom) at no additional cost of housing. Marking a "trans gendered" floor is probably not the best idea. However, a "Sexuality and Gender Alliance" community could potentially be a good idea. Some residence halls already have "learning communities" and this alliance community could be a new one housing could look into adding. This way, all those who fall under the sexuality and gender different umbrella and those who support them could be in a community. It is nice to read earlier replies concerning the safety of these students, for that is the main issue here.

Author:  Ashley_Garbrick [ Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:42 pm ]
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I agree with everything that has been said in the sense that i feel it would be a good idea to have housing for trans-gender. As some see it as a segregation issue i saw it first as a support system. My understanding was that the trans-gendered community was asking for this not vice versa. How chase makes a great option that on the housing application they can make the choice of being with the trans-gendered community or not. This way they can make their own decision. The transition to college was hard for me and i would have loved to have had a support group on my floor!!

Author:  Maja_Potocki [ Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:46 pm ]
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I was really surprised to hear that the University is taking this step to accommodating everyone's needs. I think its great. What Chase said about putting on the application a box to check ones preference is probably the best solution for this. I also see it as segregating but on the other hand we segregate males and females which is also just a social aspect of life. If they feel like they have a support group, especially in a living situation, then I don't see there being anything wrong with it.

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