Rutgers to let some male, female students room together

CNN March 2, 2011
In the wake of the high-profile suicide of a gay Rutgers University student last fall, the New Jersey college will implement gender-neutral housing in an attempt to make the university more inclusive. Twenty to 30 students will participate in a pilot program during the 2011-12 school year, which will allow students to choose their roommates regardless of gender. Three dormitories in New Brunswick, New Jersey, will be part of the pilot program, a Rutgers spokesman said. Students must apply to live in the gender-neutral rooms, which will be reserved for sophomores, juniors and seniors. “This has been under discussion for a long time,” university officials said in a statement. “In the aftermath of the Clementi tragedy, members of the university’s LGBTQ community told the administration that gender-neutral housing would help create an even more inclusive environment. Since then, the university has been exploring this in greater detail.” Tyler Clementi, 18, jumped from the George Washington Bridge in September after two other Rutgers students allegedly videotaped a sexual encounter between him and another man and posted the video online. “Maybe the outcome would have been different if he had been able to choose his own roommate,” said Yousef Saleh, 22, president of the Rutgers University Student Assembly. “At least now there’s an option.”