While 2,000 new freshmen move out of their parents’ homes and onto the UW-La Crosse campus for the first time, the university’s housing division is experiencing its own first – letting both genders live together under the same roof.
UW-L’s Reuter Hall will, for the first time, allow both men and women live together in its suite-style apartments. According to UW System policy, men and women are not allowed to live together in one room, but UW-L Chancellor Joe Gow signed off on a policy permitting them to live together in apartment-style dorms as long as each had separate bedrooms.
"The vast majority of students who live off campus, they're in multiple-gendered apartments, so we're kind of keeping up with the times,” said Residence Life Director Nick Nicklaus.
Nicklaus said the university has received widespread support on the measure, though not as much demand as originally planned – only two suite-style dorm apartments are utilizing the “gender-neutral” policy.
He added the measure will likely gain traction as the word spreads in the coming semesters.
“[Students] want to room with their friends and people they feel comfortable with, and sometimes those people aren’t necessarily of the same gender,” he said.