Open Gender Housing

What is it?

Beginning Fall 2012, Bates began offering open gender housing to increase inclusivity, to support the college’s non-discrimination policy regarding housing assignments, and to respect the diversity within gender, sex and sexuality.

Open gender housing is now available for all upperclass students (sophomores, juniors, and seniors). It allows students to pick a roommate or roommates based upon compatibility, without the constraints of biological sex or gender identity. Stillman and Herrick will remain all-female and all-male housing options respectively.


Gender designations have been removed from all upperclass rooms on campus, and students are now required to verify their gender on the Garnet Gateway.  The gender designation will be used to ensure all houses and floors in larger residence halls are filled to an approximate of 55 percent maximum of any one gender, but the remainder of the lottery process works exactly the same.

Students must fill the chosen room or suite to full capacity. In the event of a student going abroad or taking a leave, students would be required to identify a new roommate (of any gender) to fill the vacancy. Residence Life reserves the right to assign any student to the vacancy or relocate the remaining residents.

What type of restrooms will be available?

Some campus locations have gender-neutral bathrooms associated with them, and some do not. Students should factor this into their housing decision.

What if I have an open space in my room?

If students have a person in mind, they should let the Office of Residence Life and Health Education know with whom they desire to live and have that person confirm their interest. If students do not have anyone in mind, they should communicate housing preferences to the Housing Coordinator. The sex of the students will be considered when a vacancy that exists in a multiple occupancy room is filled by the Office of Residence Life and Health Education.

What if I’m not satisfied with my roommate?

The room-change request process is unchanged. Upperclass students can come in on the first day of classes and add themselves to the room-switch waitlist, which is first come, first serve, but also respects class year.

Who can I contact if I have questions about Open Gender housing?

Students can email or come in to the Office of Residence Life and Health Education to speak with a member of our staff.