UC Says Gender-Neutral Housing Will Go to Faculty for Vote, Endorses Kommonly

UC Meeting on 03/09/14
Varnel L Antoine

UC Treasurer Meghamsh Kanuparthy '16, left, President Gus A. Mayopoulos'15, center, and Vice-President Sietse K. Goffard'15, right, facilitate a discussion on the Council's progress in pursuing additional funding avenues.

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences will likely vote to lower restrictions on gender-neutral housing sometime this spring, members of the Undergraduate Council announced in their general meeting on Sunday.

UC President Gus A. Mayopoulos ’15 and Vice President Sietse K. Goffard ’15 said that in a meeting Friday, Interim Dean of the College Donald H. Pfister informed them that all House masters were on board with a proposal that would eliminate the rule currently requiring suites with students of different genders to have locking bedrooms. Faculty will likely vote on the changes sometime after Spring Break, Goffard said.

Goffard characterized the move as “a huge victory for students” and applauded the activist efforts of Brianna J. Suslovic ’16 and Jordan T. Weiers ’16.

The Office of Student Life specifies on its website that mixed-gender housing is restricted to suites which have separate, same-gender bedrooms with locks installed. A pilot program in 2011 relaxed this rule for six of the Houses. According to Goffard and Mayopoulos, the lock requirement will likely be removed for all Houses.

After providing updates on the status of gender-neutral housing, Goffard and Mayopoulos turned the Council’s focus to four legislative pieces, three of which passed and one of which was tabled.

The first that passed was a spring grants pack that allocates about $10,500 to various student groups. Afterwards, the UC voted unanimously in support of using approximately $1,400 from its operations fund to provide students with the option of purchasing shuttle tickets to the airport at various times on Friday before the spring recess.

Next, members deliberated on the Simple2Give Endorsement Act, which was introduced by UC Treasurer Meghamsh Kanuparthy ’16 and entailed the UC’s endorsement for a free, third-party software created by a company founded in Harvard’s i-Lab. The software is designed to help nonprofits fundraise online by directing a portion of certain online transactions to charitable organizations.