Gender & Sexuality Services

On-Campus LGBTQ+ Housing Guide

Last updated on 11/26/2018
This website is a regularly updated collaborative resource between the Department of Residence and Gender & Sexuality Services for LGBTQ+ or ally students who are interested in learning more about LGBTQ-friendly housing options on campus or in the local community. Please use the questions below to learn more about options on our campus.

What kind of housing options exist at UNI? 
How expensive is it to live in inclusive housing?
What do restrooms look like across inclusive housing options? 
What do community or public restrooms look like on campus? 
How do I get access to LGBTQ+ inclusive housing options? 
What do the different gender codes mean in the housing contract?
How do I find an LGBTQ+ inclusive roommate for an on-campus living space?
What LGBTQ+ inclusive training does the resident assistant (RA) staff receive? 
What if I want to live off campus?
For additional information

What kind of housing options exist at UNI?

All Gender Housing

All-Gender Housing allows residents the option to live on campus with whomever they choose, regardless of legal sex, gender or gender identity. To gain access to these spaces, simply indicate your interest on the housing contract and the contract will display the all-gender spaces you are eligible to live in (labeled with a "C" or "Co-Ed"). Students who select their interest in all-gender housing will only see other students who also have interest in this housing option. Please visit the all-gender housing website for more information about all-gender housing.

It is important to know that all-gender housing is offered in a variety of communities, including apartments and suites available to second year students and up in Lawther, Panther Village, Roth, as well as to both first year and upperclass students in the traditional co-ed residence hall Noehren, and Jennings Court Apartments (which have additional eligibility requirements). We encourage students to determine what style of living options best fit their needs, in addition to gender-related housing needs. If you do not meet the eligibility for apartments or suites, but would like to explore housing options with less gendered communities or with private restroom options, please contact Jean Wiesley in the DOR or Emily Harsch in Gender & Sexuality Services.

Apartments and Suites

Apartments and suites are available by default to students with at least one year of college experience and to first year students who need access to the space by individual request. Some of the apartments and suites are reserved for individuals who are interested in all-gender housing. Students can search through roommates who have also marked their LGBTQ-friendly interest to view potential roommates. Students who select gendered apartments or suites, but want to self-designate their space as all-gender, or would like assistance updating their gender on the housing contract can make requests by contacting Jean Wiesley or Emily Harsch.

Jennings Court Apartments are 2-bedroom apartments equipped with a single restroom to be shared between residents of that apartment. While these apartments are not gender-specific, they are only available to students who are married, living with a domestic partner, have children, are veterans, or are 21+ years old and are rented by the unit versus that of by the bed.

Lawther Hall offers traditional-style single or double rooms with community restroom access, rooms with their own restroom to be shared between 1-3 residents, and single or double suites joined by restrooms shared between 1-4 residents. Access to Lawther’s community restrooms are limited to individuals living in that community.

Panther Village offers studio, 2-bedroom, and 4-bedroom apartments, all equipped with restrooms to be shared between residents of that apartment. Roth offers a variety of apartment options including 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, 3-bedroom, or eight-bedroom units, all equipped with restrooms to be shared between residents of that apartment. The eight-bedroom apartments are split into two sides with a larger shared common space.

Traditional Residence Halls (available to all students, regardless of class standing)

Our traditional residence halls are often selected by first year students, as well as upperclass students who enjoy living in an engaged community environment. In these halls, students can live in single rooms (by themselves), double rooms (with a roommate), or can buy out a double room to live by themselves as a super single if availability allows.

These halls include both mixed gender and gender-specific communities divided by floor (Bender or Dancer) or by proximity of rooms within a floor (Campbell, Hagemann, Noehren, Rider, Shull and Noehren). Restrooms in traditional residence halls are currently multi-stall and gender-specific. Noehren is currently under renovation to offer single-user inclusive restrooms. We affirm students’ rights to live in the communities they most identify with in terms of gender identity, regardless of legal sex designation. Students who would like support exploring gender-related options in traditional halls outside of the All-Gender options in Noehren are encouraged to contact either Jean Wiesley in the DOR or Emily Harsch in Gender & Sexuality Services.

Single-Occupancy Options

Students who would like to live by themselves have several on-campus options, dependent on the type of environment they are interested in living in, as well as their restroom needs. Some of these options, including access by first-year students to spaces in upperclass housing, require making a request to the DOR. Students may also contact Gender & Sexuality Services to make a request on their behalf. Students do not have to disclose their identities in communication to staff members, but may be asked to explain what they need in a housing assignment in terms of proximity to gendered communities or restrooms. Single-occupancy options include:

  • designated single-occupancy rooms (“Physical Single” and “Super Single”) in traditional residence halls with access to community restrooms in Shull and some residence halls (contact DOR for location and availability)

  • designated single-occupancy rooms in traditional residence halls with private restrooms (access is extremely limited and requires a request; contact Jean Wiesley for more information)

  • designated single-occupancy suites and apartments with private restrooms in Lawther, Panther Village or Roth

  • designated single-occupancy suites with a shared, semi-private restroom in Lawther

  • multiple-occupancy apartments and suites purchased out by request to DOR for single residence in Lawther, Panther Village, Roth, or Jennings Court Apartments

  • double rooms with access to community restrooms purchased out as Super Singles by request in all of the traditional halls (contact DOR)

  • double rooms with access to single-stall restrooms purchased out as Super Singles by request in Noehren Hall (contact DOR)

 

Other Options

Both the DOR and GSS are happy to assist students who are interested in exploring other options for inclusive housing. Please contact Jean Wiesley or Emily Harsch for direct support.

How expensive is it to live in inclusive housing?

The cost of living for any student depends upon the type of community a student is interested in. We do not incur additional costs for comparable living spaces in comparison to All-Gender Housing spaces (such as living in an All-Gender suite in Lawther versus a gendered suite in Lawther), nor do we charge different amounts for students making individual request (for example, requesting a single room or private bathroom costs the same regardless of the purpose of the request). We offer All-Gender Housing options at many rates, dependent on the type of housing a student selects. Specific housing rates can be found on the DOR website.

We encourage students to consider all of their needs in their housing plans, including:

  • Budget for housing
  • Location
  • Style of living space (apartment, suite, traditional double or single room)
  • Living alone versus with roommates
  • Access to a community, semi-private, or private restroom
  • Enrollment in a meal plan
  • Parking passes
      

What do restrooms look like across inclusive housing options?

Restroom designs look different dependent upon the community and housing style a student selects. Restroom options include:

  • Traditional residence halls with community, multi-stalled restrooms shared by an average of 45 people (see below for more information)

  • Traditional double room in Noehren with community, single-stalled restrooms shared by an average of 45 people
  • Single rooms with their own restroom

  • Double or triple rooms with their own restroom

  • Single or double suites connected through a shared restroom (up to 4 users)

  • One bedroom apartments with their own restroom

  • Two, three, or eight bedroom apartments with shared restrooms (ranging from 2-4 users per restroom)

All halls, aside from Roth, also have at least one single-stall inclusive restroom available near the lobby for community use. Panther Village and Lawther's single-stall restrooms also have showers available. We encourage all students to consider what type of restroom style best suits their housing needs. If you have specific questions about restrooms in your desired housing community or would like to work one-on-one to secure on-campus housing that meets your restroom needs, please contact Jean Wiesley in the DOR.

What do community or public restrooms look like on campus?

In 2007, Chapter 216 of the Iowa Civil Rights Act added both sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes against discrimination in both public accommodations and employment practices. Under Iowa building code, the community restrooms available across campus, in traditional residence halls, and in Lawther Hall are gendered male or female. Noehren Hall will have single-stall restrooms in part of the building, expected to be completed in Fall 2019. Individuals at UNI are welcomed to use gendered restrooms which best match their gender identity, including in the residence halls. Residence hall staff are trained to be inclusive and sensitive related to restroom usage.

All of the residence halls also have inclusive, single-stall restrooms available near the lobby areas for visitor or community use. Aside from the inclusive, single-stall restrooms, Lawther Hall’s community restrooms access are limited to individuals who live in that community through student ID recognition.

How do I get access to LGBTQ+ inclusive housing options?

We encourage students to use the DOR's Contract Completion Guide as a resource to navigate the steps to securing on-campus housing. When navigating the Housing & Dining Contract, students are presented with a few options to choose their on-campus housing needs.

Prior to the beginning of the contract, students are encouraged to self-identify their gender, either on their initial UNI application or through MyUNIverse. Gender will be used in the contract and should be updated to ensure the spaces students are presented with are accurate.

The "All Gender Housing" step in the contract asks students about their interest in All-Gender Housing Options. Students who are interested in this option will be shown the on-campus spaces they are eligible for, as well as roommates who are interested in All-Gender Housing. It is important that any students interested in living together in All-Gender Housing select this option or they will not see each other. Students interested in All Gender Housing should also look for rooms that are labeled with "Co-Ed" or "C."

First year students who would like to explore apartment or suite-style housing options or anyone with specific housing requests should contact Emily Harsch or Jean Wiesley for assistance.

 What do the different gender codes mean in the housing contract?

The rooms available on campus are all labeled with a different gender code according to the gender living arrangement of that space. Rooms that are labeled "Male" or "M" are available to individuals who have shared that they identify as a man, either in their admission application to UNI or through MyUNIverse. Rooms that are labeled "Female" or "F" are available to individuals who have shared that they identify as a woman. Rooms that are labeled "Dynamic" or "D" change to male or female according to the first person who claims the space. These three types of rooms are not part of All-Gender Housing, but are available by default for all students in the housing contract. Students who need help updating their gender identity or would like to explore designating a Male, Female, or Dynamic space as All-Gender, please contact Emily Harsch.

All-Gender Housing rooms are labeled with the gender code "Co-Ed" or "C." Students who are interested in All-Gender spaces should look for the rooms that are labeled with a "C." These rooms are only available to students who have chosen an interest in All-Gender Housing, so any and all roommates should also select their interest in All-Gender Housing to get access to the space. All of the All-Gender Housing spaces a student is eligible will show once they select their interest in these spaces, but first year students will not be able to gain access to sophomore and up spaces in Lawther, Panther Village, and Roth without a request to the DOR. Students who would like assistance locating these spaces should contact Jean Wiesley. 

A fifth gender code ("Neutral") appears in the key on the housing contract, but is not used in our processes. 

How do I find an LGBTQ-inclusive roommate for an on-campus living space?

Students who select an interest in All-Gender Housing may select this option for a variety of reasons, including identifying with or as an ally of the LGBTQ+ community, are in the process of discovering their gender identity, identify outside of the gender binary, or feel more comfortable living with a friend, sibling, or someone of a different gender. We do not require students to disclose why they are interested in All-Gender Housing, so we encourage roommates who are seeking an LGBTQ-friendly roommate to either mark their interest in the option described above or discuss their needs with prospective roommates.

Students also have the option to write a short biography in their Panther Picks profile. We encourage students who feel comfortable to use this space to share information about themselves, as well as what they’re looking for in terms of a roommate. Some examples of what students may use this space for include sharing that they are interested in an LGBTQ+ friendly roommate, mentioning that they were involved in a GSA in high school, or sharing their pronouns.

Both the DOR and GSS also field questions from students who are interested in being matched with an LGBTQ-inclusive roommate. We encourage students who are interested in roommate-matching assistance to contact Jean Wiesley or Emily Harsch. They will work together, with consent to disclose identifying information, to match students according to their needs.

What LGBTQ-inclusive training does the resident assistant (RA) staff receive?

RA training includes sessions with the LGBT* Student Services Coordinator and covers topics such as an overview LGBTQ terminology, respecting sexuality and gender diversity, pronouns and how to use them, supporting students who are coming out, sensitivity relating to gender and bathrooms, and how they may contribute to an inclusive and engaged residence hall experience for all students. DOR also regularly partners with GSS for additional trainings for staff (such as Safe Zone Ally training), in-hall programming, and student referrals. We encourage students of all identities who are dedicated to supporting an inclusive and engaged on-campus living community to apply to be an RA.

What if I want to live off-campus?

We encourage students who are interested in LGBTQ-specific assistance finding off-campus housing to contact GSS. We will assist students in navigating on or off-campus housing processes, as well as support in connecting students to prospective roommates.

For additional information