Cited by researchers as having one of the most exceptional gender-inclusive-housing programs in the nation, Roosevelt University will be sharing its experiences regarding the program in a forthcoming book.
“Walking the Talk: Managing Institutional Culture to Put Values into Action” is the title of the chapter about the Roosevelt experience that is to be included in Trans Policies and Experiences in Housing and Residential Life.
Set to be published in 2016, the book is primarily for residence life practitioners, those considering implementing gender-inclusive housing policies and scholars who are interested in trans-related research. It will feature chapters on gender-inclusive housing at 12 higher-education institutions across the country, including Roosevelt.
“We want to dispel the myth that gender-inclusive housing can hurt higher-education institutions, which is the reason we are putting out a book on best practices today in residence life and gender-inclusive housing,” said Jason Garvey, assistant professor of higher education at the University of Alabama and lead editor of the book comprised of chapters written by individuals involved in gender-inclusive housing at as many as 12 higher education institutions across the country.
“We want to dispel the myth that gender-inclusive housing can hurt higher-education institutions, which is the reason we are putting out a book on best practices today in residence life and gender-inclusive housing.” – Jason Garvey
The Roosevelt experience with gender-inclusive housing was selected for the book because of the way the University went about establishing its policy and program. “Roosevelt has had fantastic representation in putting together its policy,” said Garvey. “We were impressed that the University not only included upper-level administrators in the discussion, but also that it solicited student opinions and input, which we think is essential for success,” said Garvey of the University’s 17-member task force that developed a policy during the fall 2012 semester.
In addition, “Roosevelt is in an urban environment and its chapter will offer a look at what goes into an urban gender-inclusive-housing experience, which we think can be a model for similar institutions considering this kind of policy,” he said.
While higher education institutions first began implementing open housing policies as far back as 1970, more than half of the 140 universities with such policies have put gender-inclusive housing in place within the last three years. Some are traditional, flagship institutions; others are small liberal arts colleges; many are in cities and suburbs across the nation; some have living and learning programs, like Roosevelt’s, while others accommodate students in entire gender-inclusive residence halls or individual suites and apartment complexes.
Contributors to the book chapter on Roosevelt’s experience include Bridget Collier, chief of staff to the president; recent Roosevelt graduate Brenden Paradies; Ellen O’Brien, director of the Women and Gender Studies program; Laura Kehoe, associate registrar; Jennifer Tani, assistant vice president for community engagement; as well as Brandon Rohlwing, resident assistant for Roosevelt’s gender-inclusive housing floor; and Bob Brophy, director of residence life at University Center Chicago. Most were members of the original task force that formulated the Roosevelt policy.