University of Miami opens new campus housing 'for LGBTQIA+ students'

The University of Miami is planning to open a housing community for LGBTQ and allied students.

The living area will open during the 2021-2022 academic year.

The University of Miami announced it will be open a living learning community for LGBTQ and allied students.

The housing community, known as the Gender and Sexuality Studies Living Learning Community (GSS LLC), was created in a partnership among the LGBTQ Student Center, the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, and Housing and Residential Life. It will be located in Mahoney Residential College, which was an all-male residence hall from 1958 until the early 1970’s when it was then converted into a co-ed facility.

According to the Miami Hurricane, the goal for the center is to house 20 to 25 students in its pilot year, all of whom will be taking required courses within the gender and sexualities department. The courses will be taught in the residential college.

The University of Miami LGBTQ Student Center made the announcement on Twitter on February 17. Applications for the living-learning community were due on February 25. 

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According to the tweet, students who are interested in participating are required to commit to one year of living in the residential college. Students are also required to “get involved in great community service projects” and “participate in amazing events and programs planned just for your community.”

The LGBTQ Student Center also points out that the LLC is “open to all residential students.”

Randy Fitzgerald, a senior at the University of Miami and member of the LGBTQ community, told Campus Reform that this isn’t his “cup of tea.”

“I’m not an enthusiast of segregated housing — I didn’t like the concept of segregating housing by gender (ie, ‘male dorm’ or ‘female floor’) and I thought it was weird when I got to college and lived on a floor with only other guys,” Fitzgerald said.

The University of Miami already offers students the option to live in gender-inclusive housing, according to the Housing and Residential Life portal.

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However, Fitzgerald said he doesn’t see the need to segregate housing based on gender, sexuality, or race.

“Obviously this is an option for students to opt-into, and I think it’s an interesting idea to allow this option for people interested in this,” he said. “But just as I wouldn’t have opted into a ‘white’ dorm, I wouldn’t opt into housing based on sexual identity — both are identities that I was born with, but I don’t need to be exclusionary about them.”

Other colleges and universities have offered similar living options for their students, including Kent State University, the University of Mary Washington, and Western Washington University, to name a few.

Last semester, the University of Florida announced its first gender-neutral housing options for the upcoming fall semester.

Campus Reform reached out to the University of Miami and the University of Miami LGBTQ Student Center for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @opheliejacobson