One Small Question On A Campus Housing Application Form Can Have A Big Impact

One small question on the housing application form at Pitzer College in California can have a meaningful impact. The reason is not necessarily due to what it asks, but what it doesn't ask.

The possible answers "Under What is your personal gender identity?" include one marked "Other Gender Identify," with a box next to it asking for people to specify. The applicant is afforded the ability to write in whatever they feel best fits.


"I think that's really cool," commented Jay Fondin, a transgender student and George Washington University sophomore, in a HuffPost Live segment.

A growing number of universities are not only offering gender neutral housing and bathrooms, but some are now changing their forms and trying to find ways to incorporate more "preferred pronouns."

The issue of what different gender identities exist beyond simply male or female attracted more attention earlier this year when Facebook unveiled more than 50 options users can pick from.

Fondin feels college campuses are "getting there" with their efforts to promote equal rights, beyond housing and bathroom considerations. Fondin recalled his application process for GWU, which does have gender-neutral housing, where applicants are asked legal sex, with an explanation box if needed.

"It's as much as GW gives you, which is something -- I'm not saying it's nothing -- and it's obviously because they've been asked in the past to make some allowance for trans students," Fondin said.

Fondin believes that as universities are confronted with more transgender students and applicants, it is at least generating awareness, though more is still left to be done.

Watch a clip from the HuffPost Live discussion about transgender students, or to see the full segment, click here.



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