Open Gender Housing

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 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.

Housing Selection Process

Gender designations have been removed from all upperclass rooms on campus. All buildings on campus are open gender. Students can change their gender on their HouseCat application at any time, regardless of the gender listed through the registrar.

In our approach to the housing selection process, it is our expectation that our students embrace a philosophy of  acceptance and representation of a diverse array of gender identities. While our goal is a maximum of 55% representation of any one gender identity in any residence, we reject the use of a gender as a means of allowing or prohibiting access to spaces.


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

Open Spaces in Rooms

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. 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.

Residence Life reserves the right to assign any student to the vacancy or relocate the remaining residents.