Office of Residence Life

Gender Inclusive Community

The Gender Inclusive Community focuses on creating an inclusive environment where students can live in the same room with any student - regardless of sex, gender, gender identity/expression, or sexual orientation. Participation is this program is voluntary, students will never be assigned unless an application is completed and approved.

The Gender Inclusive Community is located in Ottawa House, specifically Ottawa East.

Students will indicate an interest in the option through the housing application process. These students will then complete a supplemental application which will ask them to identify how they will enhance the community and benefit from the community. Applications will be reviewed by staff.


  • Select the Gender Inclusive Community on the "Specialized Community Selection" page of your University Housing Application as a preference and agree to terms.
  • If approved for the community, when you go in to select a room, spaces within this community will now appear in addition to all general rooms not specific to any communities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Gender Inclusive Community?
The Gender Inclusive Community focuses on creating an inclusive environment where students can share living space- regardless of sex, gender, gender identity/expression, or sexual orientation. This is one of the specialized living communities where participation is voluntary.

How will this compare to other specialized living communities (e.g. alcohol and substance free, scholastically enriched, environmental sustainability)?
All of the special interest living communities are unique residential environments that foster community growth and development through targeted programmatic and staff-supported efforts. These communities are centered on a shared set of values or ideals and are provided to students who are interested in connecting with other students with similar interests, backgrounds or experiences. Some of these communities require a contractual agreement aimed at upholding community standards and peer accountability. 

Who is eligible? What are the qualifications?
The Gender Inclusive Community is open to all students who complete the application process. Students will indicate an interest in the option through their housing application. Students with questions about the Gender Inclusive Community should contact the Office of Residence Life directly at 419.530.2941 or

How many students can be accommodated?
We will be able to accommodate approximately 32 students in the Gender Inclusive Community. 

Where will this be located? What room types are available?
The Gender Inclusive Community is located in Ottawa East. This is a suite-style residence hall.

Will it cost more?
No, the cost will be based on hall and room type, not on community participation.

What is the process? How will students be selected?
The Gender Inclusive Community will be presented as an option for students in the University Housing application.  Interested students should select the Gender Inclusive Community on the Living Learning Community page.

Students who indicate an interest will complete a supplemental page through the housing application that will ask them to share how as members they will both benefit from and enhance the community. Applications will be reviewed by Residence Life staff.

Participating students will be asked to sign a community contract prior to living in the space. The community contract summarizes potential benefits of living in the community and clarifies the shared expectations of community members. Such expectations will be further clarified through the drafting of community agreements, which the Office of Residence Life already uses in the halls to empower residents’ voices in establishing community expectations.

Can a student be placed in the GIC without requesting it?
No. A student who would like to apply for the Gender Inclusive Community will have to go through a specific application for that community. Without this application, no student will be allowed to live in this special interest living community. 

How will roommate matching be done?
Students will provide information on the supplemental application regarding roommate and lifestyle preferences. No identifying characteristics (e.g. sexual orientation) are required to be shared. Students are given the option to share or be matched based on criteria with which they feel most comfortable in disclosing.

How will roommate conflicts be handled? If I want to move out of my living situation but remain in Gender Inclusive Community, will this be possible?
The best way to avoid roommate conflicts is for both roommates to be proactive:  discuss expectations of each other and the shared living space. This includes guests/visitors, expectations regarding privacy, cleanliness, shared items/food, etc. One of the best tools to avoid conflict is a written roommate agreement.  When/if disagreements occur, it is best to talk about them as soon as appropriately possible. If you need assistance initiating a difficult or uncomfortable conversation with your roommate(s), speak with your resident assistant (RA), graduate assistant (GA) or hall director (HD). Sometimes it is best not to remain roommates. If that is the best option, your Residence Life staff member can let you know of open room spaces on campus. If other gender neutral community spaces are available, you are welcome to choose a space in that designated area.

Can a student apply for GIC mid-year?
Following the University Housing application deadline, students interested in moving into the community are encouraged to contact the Office of Residence Life to see what spaces are currently available. Moving into the community can occur outside the traditional time frame but will still require students to submit the supplemental application.

Can a student move out if I find this isn't a good fit?
Students interested in leaving the community will pursue the standard room change process available to students throughout campus.  That’s why we strongly encourage students to carefully consider this before applying to this kind of special interest living community because participation and support are significant components of this community.  The student can work with the GA/HD to find a more suitable place to live.

Do all the normal residence hall rules still apply?
Residence hall policies and procedures are consistent in all hall environments on campus. To see a complete listing of policies and procedures, please review the Resident Living Guide, available online.

Will there be specialized training for staff?
Yes, ongoing training is conducted for all Residence Life staff, including those working with the Gender Inclusive Community.

What type of education will be provided to students outside of the community?
Educational efforts will be incorporated into our ongoing residence hall programming.

What are the plans regarding the safety and security of the facilities?
As with all residence halls on campus, the exterior doors of the building are kept locked at all times. Students are encouraged to report people who do not appear to live in the building. Students are strongly discouraged from allowing others who do not live in the building from following them into the building. All guests and visitors should be escorted and signed in at the front desk. All suspicious persons or activities should be reported immediately to the hall staff and/or UTPD.

What about restroom facilities /showers?
Suite-style halls offer a bathroom in each suite to be utilized by each suitemate.

Will the Gender Inclusive Community be separate from the hall(s) in which it is located?
Gender inclusive rooms have been reserved on a specific floor section in Ottawa East.

Our hope is that all students, including those in the Gender Inclusive Community, will be involved in the greater residence hall community. A good way to do this is to get involved in the hall council. Hall councils represent all students in the building.

How does the Gender Inclusive Community support student growth and development?

It is intended to provide a comfortable, inclusive environment where students can live in the same room with any student – regardless of sex, gender, gender identity/expression, or sexual orientation. Living in a group with similar values and expectations is a positive opportunity for all students, regardless of the specific situation. Identity development, like broader student development, is dependent on social support. Providing a supportive, inclusive living space is critical for developing a healthy place for students to learn, develop, and grow.

Last Updated: 6/27/22