Institute Accessible & Inclusive Gender-Neutral Housing at Boston University

Institute Accessible & Inclusive Gender-Neutral Housing at Boston University

September 9, 2021
Petition to
President of Boston University Robert Brown
Signatures: 799Next Goal: 1,000
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Why this petition matters

Boston University (BU) is failing to provide inclusive & accessible housing to Trans, Gender Non-Conforming, & Intersex (TGNCI) students. BU’s current Housing system is deeply transphobic, inequitable, discriminatory, & actively aggresses TGNCI students.

For years, students have reported discrimination (deadnaming, forced outing, misgendering, etc.) & general hostility by BU staff members while trying to access safe BU housing. We have also identified 10 specific policy barriers which prevent students from accessing safe & inclusive BU housing.

Despite students' numerous attempts to work with BU Housing & Dean of Students to mitigate these barriers since at least 2010, we have been brushed aside with feigned ignorance & empty promises.

These issues are pervasive & indicative of a larger failing of LGBTQIA+ support at BU. In 2019, BU's own LGBTQIA+ Task Force for Faculty & Staff reported that BU is significantly behind many of their peer Universities in providing LGBTQIA+ resources & support. A Dec 2021-Feb 2022 benchmarking study also found that BU ranks last in LGBTQIA+ student support out of 46 peer Universities.

Boston University cannot claim to uphold their non-discrimination & equal opportunity policies while denying TGNCI students’ basic rights to safe housing.

Please view our 10 proposed solutions & sign the petition to ensure that Boston University is providing an equitable living environment for ALL students. Through collective action, we can create change. 


  1. Boston University Housing must remove the policy which prevents people with the same legal sex from living together in gender-neutral housing starting immediately.
    1. BU Housing must implement the new Student Information System within one month of its launch, which is projected for the Summer of 2022.
    2. BU Housing must remove the policy which assigns people by legal sex and instead assign people by gender identity by September 2022.
  2. Boston University Housing Staff must undergo regular LGBTQIA+ sensitivity training by BU’s LGBTQIA+ Center for Faculty & Staff starting immediately.
    1. At least once annually, Boston University Housing staff members must undergo LGBTQ+ sensitivity training which includes, but is not limited to, proper vocabulary and best practices for working with TGNCI Boston University community members. 
    2. There must also be additional training sessions by Boston University Housing as needed within one (1) month of a student reporting to an official BU resource or employee any instance of misgendering, deadnaming, or other forms of discrimination by a Housing staff member.
  3. BU Housing must allow new (first-year and transfer) students to apply for gender-neutral housing via the online BU Housing application by September 2022.
  4. BU Housing must expand the amount of gender-neutral rooms available to accommodate every student who requests to live in gender-neutral housing by September 2022.
    1. If BU Housing refuses to guarantee gender-neutral housing to every student who requests it, priority must be given to TGNCI students.
  5. The BU StarRez Housing portal must allow students to change their name and add their pronouns and gender identity by September 2022.
    1. If a student changes their name to reflect their chosen name, their legal name must no longer be visible to other BU students, including the student’s roommate(s), and ResLife staff.
    2. The StarRez Housing portal must be updated and in compliance with all of the information listed in the forthcoming Student Information System (SIS) accordingly in time for September 2022, or within one month of the official SIS launch.
  6. Gender-neutral roommate selection and gendered roommate selection must be treated equally.
    1. BU Housing must provide an option for random roommate selection on the gender-neutral housing application that also pairs students requesting gender neutral-housing based on safety needs. 
    2. If a room is designated gender-neutral, BU Housing must allow the room to remain gender-neutral even if a student moves out. 
    3. BU Housing must assume the responsibility of finding a roommate replacement without burdening the remaining student(s) and threatening room reassignment within a week.
  7. Students with both safety concerns and financial needs who require a single room and/or a room with a private, single-stall, or gender-neutral bathroom (in their room or on their floor) must have the extra costs associated with the room waived.
  8. Students with safety concerns must be given swift, priority room relocation.
    1. Students experiencing safety concerns in their current living environment must be relocated to another room within two (2) weeks of submitting their room swap request form. 
    2. The room swap request form must be revised to allow students to note any safety concerns they are experiencing to expedite the process of removing them from an unsafe environment.
    3. If a student must be reassigned to another room due to a safety concern, any additional costs associated with the new room assignment must be waived.
  9. BU Housing must provide accessible gender-neutral housing options to all students with disability accommodations who request gender-neutral housing.
  10. BU Housing must make concrete steps toward promoting transparency and informed consent.
    1. The BU Housing website must be updated with all of the information about accessing gender-neutral housing. Each new change to the Housing process must be reflected on the website within one (1) week.
    2. BU Housing must develop a clear outreach plan (including sending an email to all students) regarding the process of requesting gender-neutral housing before BU Housing selection occurs.

For more details about the barriers, demands, & proposed solutions to make BU Housing more inclusive & accessible, as well as action steps you can take, please visit!

Support now
Signatures: 799Next Goal: 1,000
Support now