The University of Tennessee is considering joining the ranks of American schools that offer gender neutral housing after the passing of a bill by the Student Government Association.
Unlike in European schools where students usually share flats or houses, American students generally share bedrooms in houses or dormitories that are strictly gender divided.
The proposed housing would allow for students to live in gender neutral suites, wings, or floors, but would not extend to allowing students of different genders to share rooms.
“Some schools define [gender neutral housing] as a male and female living in the same room, but we know that’s probably not going to happen here,” said SGA representative Jacob Clark, who penned the bill back in November.
The school administrators are expected to reach a final decision on the bill by the end of the week.
As the University is situated in the conservative state of Tennessee SGA representatives feel it may be difficult to convince administrators to break tradition, as has been the case in other conservative states such as Oklahoma.
Gender neutral student housing is a recent development in the States, but is catching on fast with over 100 schools now offering at least some neutral housing facilities. All Ivy league schools have at least one gender neutral housing option on their grounds.