American University is committed to providing students with safe and secure housing. The Housing staff expects that all students will be treated with respect in the halls. But being assigned an unknown roommate is worrisome for many first year lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, non-binary, queer, and asexual students. So here is a little information to try and make the process easier:
- Many LGBTQ students find that their roommate is very open and accepting.
- If your roommate is not so accepting, Housing and Dining Services staff members have been consistently helpful on LGBTQ issues. If you are having a problem with your roommate because of LGBTQ issues, your Resident Director usually will be able to help find a solution.
- If you don’t feel comfortable going directly to your Resident Director, stop by and see the Assistant Director for LGBTQIA Education & Support Programs in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion who can help you find appropriate resources.
All Gender Housing Options
Housing and Residence Life offers all-gender housing as an option to ensure AU's Residence Life is a supportive space for students of all gender identities and expressions. All-gender housing allows students to reside with other students regardless of legal sex on file, gender identity, or gender expression. This option is intended for students who wish to share a room and suite (if applicable) with other students of any gender identity. Note that with the exception of specifically designated all-female housing locations, buildings and floors within first year communities are co-ed. Choosing all-gender housing means that your roommate(s) and suite mates will have also selected into all-gender housing. All-gender housing is not on a designated floor or building, so students in all-gender rooms or suites can live in almost any space on campus.
Offering an all-gender housing option to all students, allows increased choice in selecting roommates. It affords students maximum responsibility for their own room assignment and is consistent with the University's commitment to learning through students' active decision-making and engagement in the learning environment.
An all-gender housing assignment is optional. Students who do not opt in will experience a housing assignment directed by the sex that is on file, and will be assigned a roommate of the same legal sex on file. (Definition: For the purposes of Housing and Residence Life, sex is a term referring to the legal sex of a person.)
Students will indicate their desire for this option through the AU Housing Portal's online application. No response to this question will default to a same-sex housing assignment. Students who indicate yes to this option will be paired/grouped with other students within their specific community designation for their room and roommate(s) placement.
For more information: visit Housing & Resident's Life's All-Gender Housing Page
Transgender Students & Housing Considerations
The Center for Diversity & Inclusion and Housing and Residence Life recognize that some transgender and non-binary students may have concerns that are not addressed by the above resources. Housing and Residence Life and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion are committed to finding appropriate and affirming housing for all students. We address individual needs on a case-by-case basis via our Gender-Based Housing Considerations Process. If you have housing considerations, please fill out the associated form on our Gender-Based Housing Considerations Page.
Housing & Dining Programs offers multiple resources for students looking for off-campus housing. Please visit the off-campus resources section of the Housing & Dining website for more information.
For additional off-campus housing options, check out the newspapers for classified ads:
The Washington Blade (the local GLBT weekly): http://www.washblade.com/
The Washington City Paper (regularly covers GLBT issues and often has ads specifically looking for GLBT friendly housing situations):
The Washington Post (DC's main newspaper)