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 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 Director or the Coordinator of LGBTQ Outreach & Programming in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion who can help you find appropriate resources.
Open Gender Housing Options
As of the 2012-2013 academic year, American University will be offering several open gender housing options to new and current students. Open gender housing refers to students choosing their roommate regardless of sex or gender. In order to participate in open gender housing, you must opt-in. To learn more about this process, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
These options are the result of a collaborative effort between AU Student Government, the Residence Hall Association, Housing and Dining Programs, and the Center for Diversity & Inclusion. This significant step forward has made AU one of just 20 universities across the U.S. that offer open gender housing to students of every academic year.
If you have any questions about open gender housing options, please contact the Center for Diversity & Inclusion at email@example.com.
Options for returning and transfer students
Returning and transfer students have several options available for open gender housing: Centennial Hall, Nebraska Hall, and the Berkshire Apartments. They can also consider joining the Social Justice Living Learning Community in Roper Hall, described below.
Options for first year students
First year students have the option of joining the Social Justice Living Learning Community in Roper Hall, described below.
Get information on the Social Justice Living Learning Community (an open gender housing option)
The Social Justice Living Learning Community is designed for students interested in better understanding and practicing social justice, and will be located in Roper Hall for the 2012-2013 academic year. It is a partnership with various campus departments including Student Activities, the Center for Diversity & Inclusion, Kay Spiritual Life Center, the Center for Community Service and Engagement, and International Student & Scholar Services.
Students in this community will have the opportunity to engage in a wide variety of experiences on the topics of civil rights, women's rights, LGBTQ rights, and other social justice movements in this pilot program. Some of the activities include:
- Special guest speakers
- Trips to historic Washington D.C. sites
- Social justice skill building sessions
- Faculty/staff-led discussions on current events and trends relating to social justice
- The opportunity to meet AU Alumni working in different movements
This opportunity is designed to introduce students to live, learn, and explore social activism as a tool to create change. This will be an open gender housing community, providing the option for students to live with the roommate with whom they are most comfortable without consideration to the individual's sex, gender or gender expression. This community will be open to both new and returning students of all majors.
To apply to live in the Social Justice Living Learning Community contact Ryan Anderson, Assistant Director for Learning Communities and Assessment, at
Request to be assigned a Resident Assistant who is particularly knowledgeable about GLBT issues.
Resident Assistants (RA's) are the student staff members who supervise each floor. While all RA's receive some training on LGBTQ issues, some RA's are more knowledgeable than others. By request, we can assign you to a floor with an RA who has a greater level of knowledge. Simply send us an e-mail to
The Center for Diversity & Inclusion and Housing and Dining Services recognize that some transgender students may have concerns that are not addressed by the above resources. Housing and Dining Services is committed to finding appropriate housing for all students, and will address individual needs on a case-by-case basis. If you identify as transgender and would like to talk about specific housing concerns, please contact the Coordinator of
LGBTQ Outreach and Programming in the Center for Diversity & Inclusion. You can also consider the Social Justice Living Learning Community.
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)