More Wisconsin colleges and universities are bending traditional housing rules for LGBTQ students, and also for men and women who just want to live together.
This fall, UW-La Crosse will allow male and female students to live together in suite-style dorms.
UWL Director of Residence Life Dr. Nick Nicklaus says the university wants to provide a safe and comfortable place for LGBTQ students to live, "They're going to be able to concentrate more fully on their academic experience. It's one less worry that's taken off their plate and, 'I don't need to be concerned about my living environment and how I'm being perceived.'"
But Nicklaus adds, male and female heterosexual students can also live together under the new rules.
UW-Milwaukee will be offering inclusive housing in the fall for LGBTQ students. For example, a gay male student could live with females.
UW-Madison is offering a new living option next semester with Open House: Gender Learning Community. Students of all backgrounds and identities can live there and will participate in weekly seminars together.
UW Board of Regents prohibits coed housing, so each school needs approval from its chancellor.
Gender-neutral housing isn't limited to the LGBTQ community.
At Lawrence University, students have to live on campus. It's had gender-neutral housing since 2006, to accommodate all gender identities, couples, and friends. School officials says the policy is about treating the students like adults.