California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

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CSU East Bay to Debut Co-Ed Housing This Fall

This fall, CSU East Bay will join the ranks of schools around the country exploring the option of gender-neutral housing.

In upper class dormitories, eight students will share rooms with the opposite sex beginning in September.

Martin Castillo, director of housing, brought the idea to campus and said the experiment has been successful at other local campuses–including San Jose State University where Castillo managed a similar effort.

“It will be isolated to areas one and two, so freshmen will not have the option,” said Castillo. “We plan on having a [gender-neutral] apartment in each building.”

According to PBSworks, just 55 universities nationwide have so far made this option available to students, some of which are other CSU campuses.

Castillo said there were many of reasons for the change, including more students identifying with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

“One of the biggest changes over the last few years is we have a lot of students that classify as transgender and there is not a [housing] option that they are comfortable with,” said Castillo.

Despite the effort to be more inclusive, the decision was met with mixed reactions by students and student groups, including Student Health and Counseling Services and Queer-Straight Alliance.

“I don’t think it’s going to have an impact to be honest,” said 19-year-old CSUEB student Krista Terry.

Similarly, Terry’s mother, Bertha Terry, was not comfortable with the idea.

“I don’t think they should be living together yet,” she said of male and female students. “I would not be comfortable with that.”

But Castillo is not alone in his support for the idea.

“I feel it’s good that we have gender-neutral housing,” said 20-year-old Communications major Nia Stewart.  “As long as everyone is safe I’m ok with it.”

“Studying what other campuses have done and the experience of San Jose State, there was definitely a positive impact in that building that the gender-neutral housing was taking place,” Castillo said. “Men tend to be cleaner, and women tend to have less issues.”

In response to concerns from parents, Castillo said he understands that some parents may not like the arrangement.

“Your kids don’t have to live there,” he said.

The campus housing department conducted a survey on the issue last year and reported that the feedback was “very positive.”

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California State University East Bay
CSU East Bay to Debut Co-Ed Housing This Fall