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Cornell University

Gender-Inclusive Housing

Gender-inclusive housing is a policy that affords all Cornell students the option to live on campus with whomever they choose, regardless of biological sex, gender, or gender identity. Please scroll down to learn more about the history of gender-inclusive housing at Cornell.

Selecting Gender-Inclusive Housing for 2023-2024

All incoming first-year and transfer students, as well as current undergraduate students, may share a room or suite with someone of a different biological sex, gender, or gender identity. When you apply for housing, you may opt in to mixed-gender housing after viewing a video and agreeing to the rules. Note that everyone wishing to share a room or suite with someone of a different gender must opt in when applying for housing.

All residence halls are mixed gender with the exception of Barbara McClintock Hall and Lyon Hall (part of Flora Rose House on West Campus) which are open only to women. Rooms, suites, and apartments are single-gender unless you opt in to gender-inclusive housing.

Rules for Gender-Inclusive Housing: 

  • Students are required to view a short educational video before applying for gender-inclusive housing:
  • Everyone wishing to share a room or suite with someone of a different gender must opt in when applying for housing. 
  • Gender-inclusive housing is not available in women-only residences. 
  • Students will not be automatically placed in a mixed-gender room or suite. They must elect to be assigned to a mixed-gender room or suite. 
  • Once a room or suite is designated as mixed-gender, it will remain mixed-gender for the duration of the academic year. In the event of a vacancy, the housing office will fill the vacancy first with an individual who consents to living in a mixed-gender space, and then using the normal housing process of roommate matching. 
  • The University encourages students to discuss this program with their parents/guardians before selecting gender-inclusive housing. All students who have reached the legal age of 18 are able to sign their own housing contracts. As a general rule, students are not released from signed housing contracts due to changes in preferences. 
  • The University does not condone the use of this program for romantic couples.

How to Apply:  

  • Apply for housing: current upper-level students beginning in January 2023; incoming first-years and transfers beginning in early April 2023.  
  • When applying for housing, follow the steps in the Housing Portal to indicate your interest in mixed-gender housing. You will be required to indicate that you understand the intended purpose of the gender-inclusive housing policy as outlined by Resolution #12, and that you have watched the educational video (included within the housing portal). You are not committed to mixed-gender housing until you sign your housing contract later in the process. 
  • Select your housing preferences.  
  • Sign your housing contract electronically through the Housing Application Portal.

Additional Resources: 

The history and implementation of gender-inclusive housing at Cornell: 

In Fall 2012, the Student Assembly adopted Resolution #12, "Adoption of a Gender-Inclusive Housing Policy," which called for on-campus gender-inclusive housing to be made available to all undergraduate students who select that option. According to the resolution, "The aim of gender-inclusive housing is to provide a safe living option for underrepresented minority gender non-conforming, gender queer, and transgender students," and to allow "students the option to live in the comforts of on-campus housing while exploring the cultural constructions of gender identity." Learn more about Resolution #12 at the Student Assembly website.

The resolution was endorsed by President David Skorton in late Fall 2012. For the first phase of the project, undergraduate students who participated in the Spring 2013 Room Selection process for 2013-2014 housing were able to select gender-inclusive housing in a Program House, in the Language House, in a University co-op, and through the West Campus Houses' and Upperlevel Residence Halls' Continued Occupancy (C/O) processes. The same options were available for undergraduate students participating in the Room Selection processes since that time.

The project is continually being evaluated to enable students and staff to determine future steps for implementation. Since the 2017-2018 academic year, mixed-gender housing has been available to all students.