Tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. Gonzaga’s website will be updated to make information about gender-inclusive housing more visible and accessible.
Vice provost for student affairs Kent Porterfield said gender-neutral housing had been offered at GU since 2017, but this fall he received feedback from Housing and Residence Life and the Campus Pride Index that the information at this subject are not visible. The changes to the website will also make it easier to find and answer frequently asked questions about it, he said.
“It took time, but part of it is that we really tried to be comprehensive in our approach,” Porterfield said. “We tried to really think about how to do it well and not just take the information that was currently already available and make it more visible, we tried to improve it.”
According to Jamie Aitken, senior director of strategic communications, the website will be updated early in the morning and an email will be sent from the Porterfield office around 9 a.m.
Aitken said information on gender inclusive housing will be located on the right side of the Housing and Restoration page, and will include information on gender inclusive housing, LGBQ+ housing resources, terms and definitions , frequently asked questions, and links to the Lincoln LGBTQ+ Resource Center page.
Jon Wheeler, director of Residence Life, said the housing application will also be amended to make it clearer to students what resources are available to them and clarify what inclusive housing is.
Additional questions have been added to the student profile section of the application that asks whether students are interested in living in an environment that supports LGBQ students, and a separate question asking whether or not students are interested in live in an environment that is supportive. of transgender and non-binary students, he said.
Matthew Barcus, program manager for LGBTQ+ education and support at the Lincoln LGBTQ+ Resource Center, said the process of updating GU’s website involved many people from different areas of the university, including students currently living in inclusive housing, RAs, students involved with the Lincoln LGBTQ+ Resource Center, and those working with DICE. The process also included members of the President’s staff, Diversity Director Robin Kelley, and members of Mission and Ministry.
“If it’s not widely communicated, it leaves room for people to not know, and I think if something is aligned with our mission and aligned with our practices and we’re doing it, it’s important that everyone everyone on campus be aware,” Barcus said.
Lillian Piel is editor-in-chief. Follow them on Twitter: @lilianpiel.