The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has created a new housing policy to meet the unique needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender non-conforming students – as well as their allies and other students who have specific needs based on their cultural background or identity.
UWM is the first institution in the University of Wisconsin system to approve such a policy. It goes into effect at the beginning of the fall 2013 semester, according to a press statement issued on Feb. 15. Incoming students will be able to select an inclusive housing assignment as part of the enrollment process.
“We strive to provide an inclusive environment for all students, and with this policy campus leaders at UWM recognize that traditional room assignments do not meet the needs of all students,” said Kelly Haag, the university’s housing director. “Inclusive housing extends UWM’s mission to develop an environment conducive to cultural, intellectual and experiential learning.”
The inclusive housing policy is the latest milestone in UWM’s ongoing efforts to create a campus that’s welcoming of LGBT students. UWM’s busy LGBT Resource Center occupies a high-profile space on the ground floor of the student union building – a placement that officials say symbolizes the university’s commitment
As a result of its efforts, “UWM was ranked No. 12 in Newsweek’s Daily Beast as a ‘Gay Friendly Campus’ in 2011,” said Jennifer Murray, director of the resource center. “The new inclusive housing policy will continue to increase UWM’s ranking in both the Campus Pride Climate Index as well as the TONI Project – two prominent national standards of LGBT+ inclusion in higher education. The new … policy also supports the university’s ‘Best Place to Work’ and ‘Best Place to Learn’ initiatives.”