Beginning Fall 2017, roommate matching for all students will be based on gender identity, and not biological sex. What does this mean? 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 now 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 (by May 1, 2017 for new students, and March 31, 2017 for returning students) 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 including: major, answers to roommate profile questions in the housing application, OSU class standing, and 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.
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:
Identity or identities not listed*
Non-binary, gender fluid, gender non-conforming*
Questioning or not sure*
*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?
You have the option to make your gender identity private via your housing application. By selecting to have your identity private, you will remove yourself from being visible to others as a potential roommate. You may still search for roommates, but will have to initiate any requests to potential roommates.
Who will have access to my gender identity information?
For students who participate in roommate matching, other students participating in the same roommate matching process will see your identified gender unless you choose to make it private. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.