Hold UofL Accountable: NRH Must Be Gender-Inclusive

Hold UofL Accountable: NRH Must Be Gender-Inclusive

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Orvelle Thomas started this petition to University of Louisville

This University and its administrators persist on speaking on becoming an equitable, diverse, and inclusive campus. However, unfortunately, this University and its administrators often drown out the voices of its LGBTQ+ students. How can this school ignore minority groups all while marketing its campus as a premier university for diversity and inclusion? This school has consistently been named one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly universities in the South. But giving in to societal pressures, and maintaining a deliberate anti-LGBTQ+ agenda, does not make the University of Louisville deserving of that award.

This past week, University Campus Housing director Tom Hardy, and Dean of Students, Michael Mardis have made the decision to "postpone" the gender-inclusive setup of the new residence hall planned to open in the Fall of 2021. The new residence hall will house the Cultural and Equity Center. How can such support centers be placed in a building that does not respect and value the identities of others? It is a shame to place a center dedicated to equity in this building when the university itself seemingly does not value equity.

The justification for this decision derives from the fact that the University believes gender-inclusive rooms need a "trial year,” and that “all traditional halls at UofL are gendered by floor.” The University claims that this would be the first residence hall in Kentucky of its kind to establish such a precedent. But is this not more of a reason to advocate for inclusive environments on this campus? We must also be aware that this is not just a Kentucky situation. This is a trend that is happening nationally, not just in California and New York. Why can we not set the trend for other Kentucky schools? Why do LGBTQ+ students at UofL have to be left behind this campus trend?

Another reason for this decision is concern amongst parents not feeling comfortable about their child living on gender-inclusive floors. Instead of valuing the identities and opinions of its residents, the University, instead, values occupancy and the wallets of "concerned" parents. However, if parents are worried about gendered floors, there are other options on campus that are available to their students.

This is a new building on campus. Allowing gender-inclusive floors would be a step in the direction of the University fulfilling its promise of maintaining a diverse and inclusive campus. For incoming LGBTQ+ students, this decision may deter them from coming to the university. For current LGBTQ+ students, this decision may lead them to transfer or not finish their degree at UofL. This decision holds so much significance for LGBTQ+ individuals on UofL's campus that this cannot be taken lightly. Too many LGBTQ+ students have trauma from the gendered environments of student housing.

Here is a link to the layout of the New Residence Hall. It features private bathrooms in a corridor.

http://louisville.edu/housing/options/development_projects/belknap-residence-hall-1/belknap-residence-hall-1

Please help us embrace creating a "No place for hate" that is consistently advertised on @uoflcampushousing Instagram. "Hate has no place on our campus". Please consider signing this petition and making a difference.

Additionally, please email vpsa@louisville.edu expressing your concerns about this and how this impacts you or transgender or non-binary students on campus.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!