Gender Inclusive Housing
Welcome to Penn State!
Penn State strives to provide a safe, inclusive, comfortable, and supportive living environment for all students residing on campus.
The University is proud to offer gender-inclusive housing options for students who identify as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and ally students community. Staff members are available to work with students in a one-on-one setting to identify the most appropriate room assignment. Upperclass students may also participate in the Open Housing option where students of any gender may live together in a space.
Learn more about these options below or reach out to our staff for assistance.
Gender Inclusive Housing
For any student interested in a gender inclusive room assignment, our staff will work with you in a personal and confidential manner to discuss what housing options are available. It is important to contact us early in the process so that we may offer the widest range of housing options. There is no guarantee that a particular space will be available.
Gender Inclusive Housing options a student may be assigned to include:
- single- or double-occupancy room with a gender neutral bathroom in close proximity (individual, private-use bathrooms shared by residents on the floor - similar to a bathroom in a home) in a traditional or renovated residence hall
- single- or double-occupancy room with attached semi-private bathroom shared with another single- or double-occupancy room (roommate and/or suitemates) in a suite or apartment
Upper-class students may request Open Housing, which is where students are assigned to a room with no regard to roommate(s) gender, in any of the housing options offered on campus.
Students interested in Open Housing should follow these steps:
- All students in the group must have accepted a HFS Contract.
- Each student will need to review and submit the Open Housing Agreement online form
- A staff member from Housing and Food Services will be in touch with the group to discuss room options and to confirm placement
- Students understand that the group is responsible for filling the entire unit on their own, as Housing and Food Services does not provide open housing roommate matching.
The recommended submission date to request Open Housing for the 2023-2024 academic year is March 1, prior to online room selection. Requests for Open Housing may be submitted after this suggested date, however, space available will become increasingly limited as room assignments are processed.
We want to make sure that you feel safe and comfortable with your room assignment. Please feel free to contact us to discuss your interest and options available, as we want to work with you in an individual and confidential manner.
- Tracy Walker, Associate Director, Housing and Food Services 814-865-7862
- Lisa Blasi, Associate Director, Residence Life 814-863-1710
- Sonya Wilmoth, Director, Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity 814-863-1248
Additional resources are available for gender-neutral students through the University's Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity.
For the purpose of gender-neutral housing, gender non-conforming is a term for individuals whose gender expression is different from social expectations related to gender. Gender expression is the external manifestation of one's gender identity, usually expressed through "masculine", "feminine", or gender variant behavior, clothing, haircut, voice, or body characteristics. Transgender is a term for people whose gender identity, expression, or behavior is different from those typically associated with their assigned sex at birth, including but not limited to transsexuals, cross-dressers, androgynous people, genderqueers, and gender non-conforming people.
Definition Source: National Center for Transgender Equality; Mara Keisling, Executive Director http://transequality.org.