Roommate Matching and Gender Identity

Roommate matching for all students is based on gender identity, and not biological sex. Students are able to indicate the gender they identify with on their housing application, which may or may not match their biological sex. Students will have more choice in who they match with as roommates, and how much gender identity information they want others to see.


What does this mean for you specifically?

Students who apply for fall housing will have optimal choice in their roommate search. For example, if you identify as a woman, and want to find a roommate who identifies as a woman, you may do so. If you identify as transgender, you will be able to find a roommate without any restrictions based on your biological sex.


How does gender matching work in roommate matching?

Students who select their own roommate will be able to search for a roommate based on a number of criteria through answers to roommate profile questions in the housing application, including gender identity. Students who either choose not to select their own roommate, or are not eligible to select their own roommate (they apply after their corresponding deadline, or are a mid-year applicant), will be assigned a roommate based on the category of their gender identity. There are three categories of gender identities: man, woman, and self-identified.


About our Gender-Inclusive Living Community

Regardless of the gender they identify with, students may also choose to live in our Gender-Inclusive living community. Students who select this option will be able to search for roommates, or be paired with roommates, regardless of gender identity. Students who select this option will only be matched with other students who also make this selection.

Students who opt into Gender-Inclusive housing are expected to uphold a level of respect toward one another regardless of gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation.


Why are there so many gender identity options?

Due to recent legislation in the state of Oregon, the university makes efforts to no longer define gender on a binary (meaning just “male” or “female”). In an effort to provide all students access to the same services at the institution, like roommate matching, we have identified 10 gender identities from which students can select the option that most aligns with their identity:

  1. Agender*
  2. Genderqueer*
  3. Identity or identities not listed*
  4. Man
  5. Non-binary, gender fluid, gender non-conforming*
  6. Questioning or not sure*
  7. Trans Man
  8. Trans Woman
  9. Transgender*
  10. Woman

*Are all part of the self-identified category

By providing more options for students, we are able to assist students in finding a roommate with whom they feel compatible and also support the university mission: “As the branch campus of Oregon’s leading public research university, Oregon State University - Cascades provides globally relevant education, research and outreach. Our students develop the knowledge and critical thinking ability to lead informed lives, serve their communities and enhance their careers. OSU-Cascades is committed to the diversity and sustainability of the campus and surrounding community.”


What if I don’t want my gender identity to be visible to other students?

Your gender identity is private by default on your housing application. You will be given the option of making your gender identity public. Choosing to do so may give you more oppotunity for open and honest conversations with potential roommates, leading to a better roommate match.


Who will have access to my gender identity information?

If you choose to make your gender identity public, other students participating in roommate matching will be able to view your gender identity. Outside of roommate matching, only staff in the Housing department who are responsible for making room assignments will have access to this information.


What should I do if I encounter bullying or harassment during the roommate search process?

All students admitted to Oregon State University - Cascades are bound to a Code of Conduct that, “...all persons must treat one another with dignity and respect in order for scholarship to thrive.” As such, we expect every student to approach the roommate matching process with an ethos of care for their fellow students. If you have an experience you think violates this Code of Conduct, please contact the Housing Office: