UNC student: Gender-neutral housing about safety - WNCN: News, Weather

UNC student: Gender-neutral housing about safety

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -

Students at UNC-Chapel Hill start to move into dorms Friday.

Originally, the university set aside 32 spaces for gender-neutral housing, which were apartments and suites where students of opposite sexes could live together.

Some students pushed for the option to make students feel safer, fearing harassment and bullying from students of other sexual orientations.

On Aug. 9, one week before move-in began, the UNC Board of Governors banned the program, which had been approved by the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees.

"We all want every student to be safe, comfortable, and included. The board believes there are more practical accommodations which can be made to accomplish those goals than assigning young men and young women to the same dorm rooms and suites," said Board of Governors Chairman Peter Hans.

WNCN News learned Friday four students signed up for the gender-neutral housing.

"We assigned the four impacted students to other on-campus locations of their choosing," said Rick Bradley, associate director of Housing and Residential Education.

Ping Ngyen, a senior, was one of them.

He said he pushed for the gender-neutral program after a personal experience.

Ngyen said he once had roommates who wrote a derogatory message on a sign and posted it on the dorm door because he was gay.

"When I addressed them they said they were just joking around, but in a sense it internalized that message, how safe is our housing here on campus," he said.

Ngyen said his fight for gender-neutral housing is not over.

"The reason this issue was passed in the first place or even we're discussing about it because there is a problem. If there's no problem with finding a safe space for these people with different gender expressions to live, then we wouldn't have wasted our energy on this issue, right?," he said.

 

 

Justin Quesinberry

Justin is a reporter for WNCN and a North Carolina native. He has spent the better part of the last decade covering the news in central North Carolina.  More>>

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