Frequently Asked Questions

What is gender-inclusive housing?

Gender-inclusive housing is an option in which two or more students share a room or apartment regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, identity, or expression. Gender identities are numerous and include man, woman, and transgender, among many others.

Who can live in gender-inclusive housing?

All students who consider themselves supportive of or a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and are comfortable having a roommate of any gender identity or expression are eligible for this housing option.

Where is gender-inclusive housing located?

Gender-inclusive housing is available in specific theme houses/halls in the undergraduate communities identified below, and broadly available in Graduate and Family Housing (apartment communities). Students may indicate a preference for gender-inclusive housing during the undergraduate housing contract process or in the graduate housing application. During the assignments process you may be contacted by Student Housing to confirm your preferences and discuss your options. Graduate students who request gender-inclusive housing will be matched with others who are open to that option.

First-year students can request placement in Open House in Middle Earth. All available spaces are in double occupancy rooms (for double occupancy room rates, click here). Description of Open House:

This hall strives to be an inclusive and non-judgmental community where diversity and the exploration of identity are celebrated. While all residents are welcome, Open House is intended as a safe and affirming environment that recognizes unique needs and challenges to the LGBTQ community. Residents of any sexual orientation or gender identity (including, but not limited to, lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, transgender, and queer) are encouraged to apply, as are allies and supporters of the LGBTQ community. In conjunction with Student Housing and the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center, collaborative programs will foster community, encourage self-expression and create an atmosphere of openness and learning. In order to best serve its residents, Open House is the only hall in Middle Earth with gender-inclusive roommate assignments, allowing for students to request a roommate of any gender identity/expressions.

Continuing/Transfer students can request to live in Spectrum House in Arroyo Vista. All available spaces are in double occupancy rooms (for double occupancy room rates, click here). Description of Spectrum House:

The Spectrum House is a unique community that celebrates and affirm the cultural experiences for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, and questioning students and their allies through programming, community development, an increased visibility of LGBT students & issues, and providing a safe space for LGBT students and their allies. Focusing on creating an inclusive and welcoming campus environment for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities, the Spectrum House promotes the understanding about sexual orientation, gender, and other aspects of diversity to enhance students' leadership skills, personal development, and multicultural awareness. Residents who choose to live in the house will be asked to complete Safe Zone training, attend at least one LGBTRC/Spectrum program each quarter, and be an active, positive member of the house. More information about Spectrum House here.

Graduate and Family Housing at UCI offers gender-inclusive housing throughout our communities. Gender inclusive housing allows same-gender roommates, opposite-gender roommates, or other gender-identity roommate pairings. To clarify, gender identities are numerous and include man, woman, and transgender, among many others. Thus, single students are matched with roommates based on gender preferences identified in the Graduate and Family Housing Application.

How much does it cost?

Housing costs depend on which community and room (or apartment) type a student is placed in. For cost information, please visit our Student Housing rate site here.

What is the process to request gender-inclusive housing?

For undergraduate housing: students can indicate interest in the gender-inclusive housing options on their Personal Information (PI) form. Preferences indicated on the PI form are utilized during the assignments process to determine placement. Students who express an interest in gender inclusive housing will receive more information from one of the housing communities or from the LGBT Resource Center on campus.

To communicate with a staff member about your specific needs in undergraduate housing, please refer to the Associate Director of Residential Life contact information below:

Thais Bouchereau - Arroyo Vista tboucher@uci.edu
Yoo Mi Choi - Middle Earth yoomi.choi@uci.edu

For graduate and family housing: applicants can request gender placement preferences on their graduate housing application. This information will be utilized by the assignments team to place students and make roommate matches.

To communicate with a staff member about your specific needs in graduate and family housing, please refer to the Associate Director of Residential Life contact information below:

Hector Limon - Campus Village limonh@uci.edu
Kerri Sherwood - Palo Verde sherwook@uci.edu
Betsy Franklin - Verano Place enfrankl@uci.edu

Can students move in or out of gender-inclusive housing mid-year or mid-lease?

Yes, any student may request a room change following Student Housing policies and procedures. The first point of contact to request a room change after move-in is your housing community. (See contacts below.) You may also contact Ash Preston in the LGBT Resource Center to help facilitate this process: prestoa1@uci.edu or lgbtrc@uci.edu

To communicate with a housing staff member about your specific needs regarding gender-inclusive housing, please refer to the Associate Director of Residential Life contact information below:

Thais Bouchereau - Arroyo Vista tboucher@uci.edu
Hector Limon - Campus Village limonh@uci.edu
Yoo Mi Choi - Middle Earth yoomi.choi@uci.edu
Kerri Sherwood - Palo Verde sherwook@uci.edu
Betsy Franklin - Verano Place enfrankl@uci.edu

Can a parent influence placement?

UCI respects the decisions and confidentiality of students as they complete their housing contract and will only contact family and/or supporters as permitted, in accordance with FERPA guidelines. In essence, once you become an official university student, you own your university record information, regardless of your age or if you receive financial support from your family or guardians. That university record is protected by FERPA guidelines; you are the only person with whom Student Housing can communicate about the information contained within your student record. We do encourage you to discuss your housing options with your family and/or supporters, but you ultimately get to decide what you choose to communicate with them regarding your university record, which includes your housing information.

Students who are under 18 years of age require a parent/guardian guarantor in order to complete a contract, but guarantors are not involved in recording preferences or in the assignments process. Guarantors are only able to contact Student Housing regarding payment-related matters without student consent, under the terms of the contract. They do not have access to your housing preferences or other student record information.

Can students request not to be placed in gender-inclusive housing?

You will only be considered for gender-inclusive housing placement if you have indicated it as a preference during the housing application/contract process.

Is living in gender-inclusive housing protected information?

Yes, this information is protected by FERPA.

Will I have supportive staff in my housing community?

Students who are placed in gender-inclusive housing in our undergraduate communities are assigned a Resident Advisor who has been trained on diversity and inclusion competencies. Middle Earth and Arroyo Vista are intentional in selecting resident advisors that have previous knowledge, experience, and skills to support LGBT students and assist in fostering an accepting, gender-inclusive community.

If you have questions or concerns about your housing experience, please refer to the Associate Director of Residential Life contact information below:

Thais Bouchereau - Arroyo Vista tboucher@uci.edu
Hector Limon - Campus Village limonh@uci.edu
Angela Grundy - Mesa Court agrundy@uci.edu
Yoo Mi Choi - Middle Earth yoomi.choi@uci.edu
Kerri Sherwood - Palo Verde sherwook@uci.edu
Betsy Franklin - Verano Place enfrankl@uci.edu

You may also contact Ash Preston in the LGBT Resource Center if you need support: prestoa1@uci.edu or lgbtrc@uci.edu

Where can I find more information on how to request to live in a gender-inclusive housing option?

Please feel free to contact Housing Administrative Services at 949-824-6811 with questions or concerns.

What do the restrooms and showers look like in communities where gender-inclusive housing is offered?

Bathroom and shower layouts vary from community to community, and sometimes even from building to building.

In Open House in Middle Earth Housing, the hall has separate shower rooms and separate toilet rooms with shared sinks in each suite.

In Spectrum House in Arroyo Vista Housing, there are two separate bathrooms on the 2nd floor, each bathroom comprised of two showers, two toilet stalls, and three sinks. Eight students share one bathroom. There is also one ½ bath on the 1st floor (toilet and sink only) adjacent to the living room common space.

Throughout Student Housing, there is a variety of other bathroom configurations. Refer to the housing website for floorplans or call the individual housing communities for more information about building layouts.

What are the potential benefits of living in gender-inclusive housing?

Gender-inclusive housing provides a safe environment for our residents that supports academic and personal success at UCI, as well as provides the space for students to explore their identity. Some additional benefits include:

  • The ability to live with LGBTQ+ and ally individuals in a small, community-oriented environment.
  • While Open House and Spectrum House are about gender-inclusivity, these communities also help foster an open-minded and inclusive space for all types of identities (race, nationality, culture, etc). Residents that live within these houses typically are willing to engage and eager to participate in conversations to broaden their worldview and perspective.
  • There are events within the hall that focus on topics pertaining to the LGBT community, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Residents in these houses receive additional support from the LGBT Resource Center.
  • The RA strives to publicize and share LGBT resources and events throughout the UCI community and beyond.
  • Knowledgeable staff is available to provide support.

Where can I learn more about the UCI LGBTQ+ community?

Visit the UCI LGBT Resource Center, or contact them at (949) 824-3277 or lgbtrc@uci.edu. For a list of LGBT+ student organizations, check out the Student Orgs page on the LGBTRC site.

Where can I go to confidentially discuss my particular housing needs or if I have questions not addressed here?

If you have questions or concerns about your housing experience, please refer to the Associate Director of Residential Life contact information below:

Thais Bouchereau - Arroyo Vista tboucher@uci.edu
Hector Limon - Campus Village limonh@uci.edu
Angela Grundy - Mesa Court agrundy@uci.edu
Yoo Mi Choi - Middle Earth yoomi.choi@uci.edu
Kerri Sherwood - Palo Verde sherwook@uci.edu
Betsy Franklin - Verano Place enfrankl@uci.edu

You may also contact Ash Preston in the LGBT Resource Center if you need support: prestoa1@uci.edu or lgbtrc@uci.edu

What are other resources available to support my experience at UCI?

The UCI Campus Social Worker site provides a great list of resources available to members of the UCI community. Please visit the site here.

If you have any additional questions or feedback for this site, please contact housing@uci.edu

Thank you to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for the structure and some of the content provided in this FAQ.