Rutgers Experiments with Gender-Neutral Dorms

The suicide of gay freshman Tyler Clementi spurs Rutgers to pilot gender-neutral dorms.

Can gender-neutral housing programs create a safer, more inclusive college experience for gay, lesbian, and transgender students? That's the hope of officials at New Jersey's largest university, Rutgers. Three dormitories are set to become gender neutral by Fall 2011, meaning that male students can choose a female roommate, and vice versa. What's spurring the decision? Last fall, eighteen-year-old Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi tragically committed suicide after his roommate secretly livestreamed his sexual encounter with another man onto the internet.

Gender-neutral housing is something gay students have requested—and been denied— for years. The school's Residence Life director, Joan Carbone, says that in the aftermath of Clementi's suicide, conversations with LBGTQ students led the school to take into consideration how tough it is to find an accepting roommate.

Aaron Lee, a senior who self-identifies as transgender told NJ.Com that he's happy about the decision, since "We live in a world where in order to be considered a human being you have to be male or female, and not everyone fits into that kind of binary," said Lee. "It’s important to have spaces where people don’t necessarily have to worry."

The three dorms only house 100 students, so a housing lottery will be used to determine who gets to live in them. Unfortunately, the dorms won't be open to freshman students. Instead, those students will be given the option to request a roommate "who is supportive of their sexual preference."

Students who do get a spot through the lottery will be able to pick the roommate of their choice, regardless of gender. Heterosexual students will also be able to live with friends who are of the opposite sex, and bathrooms will be gender-blind.

Of course, gender-neutral housing is only one step needed toward creating a safer, more welcoming environment. Students still have to come out of their dorm rooms for class—meaning that without comprehensive anti-bullying policies on campus, violence and hate crimes against LGBTQ are sure to continue in one form or another.

photo (cc) via Wikimedia Commons

via David Leavitt / Twitter and RealTargetTori / Twitter

Last Friday, GOOD reported on an infuriating incident that went down at a Massachusetts Target.

A Target manager who's come to be known as "Target Tori," was harassed by Twitter troll David Leavitt for not selling him an $89 Oral-B Pro 5000 toothbrush for a penny.

He describes himself as a "multimedia journalist who has worked for CBS, AXS, Yahoo, and others."

Keep Reading
via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading
via Haldean Brown / Flickr

In a typical work day, people who smoke take more breaks than those who do not. Every few hours they pop outside to have a smoke and usually take a coworker with them.

Don Bryden, Managing director at KCJ Training and Employment Solutions in Swindon, England, thinks that nonsmokers and smokers should be treated equally, so he's giving those who refrain from smoking four extra days to compensate.

Funny enough, Bryden is a smoker himself.

Keep Reading