In a unanimous vote, the Undergraduate Student Government Senate passed a resolution to create gender-neutral housing on campus during Tuesday night’s Senate meeting.
The resolution proposes a “gender-neutral” option on USC housing applications and the creation of gender-neutral housing facilities to accommodate USC students who don’t identify within the male/female gender binary.
The resolution was proposed by members of the Queer and Ally Student Assembly. Its passage was followed by celebration and congratulation amongst proponents and supporting senators.
“I’d like to thank the members of QuASA and everyone else who helped us with this resolution,” said Vice President Rini Sampath, who co-sponsored the bill along with Senator Brianna Thorpe. “I’m looking forward to working with the Senate to pass this resolution.”
Sampath, a Daily Trojan columnist, believes that the bill’s passage is a testament to the hard work of both USG and student officials, and that it’s a landmark moment for USG in backing gender rights.
“To get this resolution to Senate is really meaningful. Many students as well as provosts and university officials have been working on it, and I think it’s a step toward a more equal campus,” Sampath said.
Former USG Senator Logan Heley helped present the bill last week. Heley believes it’s time for USC to catch up to other universities in gender issues.
“USC is behind a lot of other comparable universities on gender-neutral housing, and it’s about time we as a Trojan Family make our home comfortable for all students,” Heley said.
Currently, the resolution is non-binding. Sampath, however, said she is taking steps to communicate with the administration and ensure that the resolution changes actual policy.
“I want to make sure these resolutions aren’t just ‘pieces of paper,’ that they’re listened to,” Sampath said. “It’s going to be taken to President [C. L. Max] Nikias’ office, and it will allow us to have one-on-one conversations with administrators to see why we need to make these changes on campus.”