Housing Selection Process

Gender Neutral Housing (GNH)

Gender Neutral Housing (GNH) allows students, in mutual agreement, to share a multiple occupancy room or a multiple occupancy suite, regardless of the students’ sex or gender. It allows students to choose to live with whom they are most comfortable and also provides housing options for students who may identify as transgender or are questioning their gender identity or do not wish to prescribe to gender classifications.

How to apply

  1. Consider the following commitment that students are asked to sign:
    1. I commit to live in this living accommodation for the entire 2016–2017 academic year.
    2. I understand that if my roommate, my suitemate, or I decide to leave this living environment for any reason (LOA, Withdrawal, External Program, Room Change or Other) and we are unable to fill the vacancy, OHRL will attempt to fill the vacancy with a student who has indicated an interest in GNH so that its gender neutral status is preserved.  However, if no one is found to fill the vacancy, our suite may need to be disbanded and all those remaining in the group will be reassigned to housing with someone of the same sex or gender.
    3. I understand that the College encourages me to strongly consider discussing my desire to participate in GNH with my parents/guardians before going forward.
  2. Determine with whom you would like to live and in what building and suite type.
  3. Mutually request all desired roommates/suitemates on the housing application AND “Gender Neutral Housing” pages of the online application by 11:59 pm EST on Friday, March 18, 2016. If you are looking for a suite, you must fill out the "Full Suite Selection Application" part of the online application as well.

Application procedure

Students interested in GNH submit an application and provide a brief personal statement explaining why they wish to participate.

Returning students who complete an online application and receive approval through the Review Process are eligible to select into GNH. If the number of approved students seeking GNH exceeds the number of beds available, Office of Housing and Residence Life (OHRL) will create a waitlist and place students on the list based on their Housing Selection Number. Members of OHRL will access the waitlist in the event that GNH spaces become available.

The purpose of GNH is to accommodate students who wish to room with someone of another gender, not to promote couples living together. Emerson strongly discourages dating couples from selecting to room together; relationship challenges or breakups can pose significant roommate conflicts.

Basis of approval of an application

Students must complete an application and submit it by the aforementioned deadline. Approved applicants will:

  • Provide a thoughtful and substantive response in their personal statement.
  • Demonstrate that they understand the importance of maintaining a full room/suite and the ramifications of having an unfilled vacancy within the room/suite.

Notification process

After the review of GNH applications commences, students will receive notification via email of their status within the GNH Selection process. Students will receive notification that they have one of the following:


  • Students approved to select into GNH will receive an email identifying their placement within the selection process and the specific type of selection in which they will participate (e.g., suite, open room, learning community).
  • Applicants approved to select into GNH who are unable to select housing at their designated appointment time must designate a proxy.
  • Student accepted into GNH who choose not to live in GNH are expected to notify the Office of Housing and Residence Life immediately so alternate arrangements can be made for all individuals involved. Students approved for a suite who then decide not to live in GNH will negatively affect the ability of the other members of the group from living in or selecting to live in GNH.


  • Students may be denied participation in GNH because:
    • Applicants miss the application deadline or did not complete the application fully.
    • Applicants do not provide a thoughtful and substantive response for living in GNH.
  • Students denied participation in GNH selection will receive an email notifying them of their participation in Open Housing Selection. During Open Housing Selection, students will have the chance to select into any available room.


If the number of qualified applicants exceeds the number of available beds, students will be added to a GNH waitlist in ranking order of their Housing Selection Number. Should GNH space become available at a later date, an OHRL member will contact students on the GNH waitlist.

Students placed on the GNH waitlist will receive an email notifying them of their status on the waitlist, and their participation in Open Housing Selection. During Open Housing Selection, students will have the chance to select into any available room.

Room changes

Only students who apply for and receive approval to live in GNH will participate in GNH selection. Students who have not applied for or received approval to participate in GNH will not be forced into this living situation. Therefore, when a vacancy becomes available in a GNH room or suite, the following process will be followed:

  1. Residents of the room/suite will have no fewer than 24 hours and no more than one week to pull another resident student into the room who wants GNH. Residents pulled into the room/suite must have a completed and approved GNH application on file with OHRL by the time they move into a GNH-designated vacancy.
  2. If residents do not identify another resident student to pull in, OHRL staff will contact students on the GNH waitlist to discuss the vacancy.
  3. If neither option #1 or #2 work, the suite will be separated and occupants of the suite will be relocated into single-sex housing.