11/10/2010 04:48 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Columbia University To Offer Gender-Neutral Housing

Columbia University has formally joined the growing list of colleges and universities that offer gender-neutral housing.

After reviewing a revised proposal -- put together by a taskforce which formed in May to develop the Open Housing program -- Columbia College dean Michele Moody-Adams and Fu Foundation of Engineering and Applied Science Dean Feniosky Peña-Mora approved the pilot, reports the Columbia Daily Spectator.

In a statement, the deans said:

After careful and thorough consideration of the student-led proposal for open housing, we have approved a one-year pilot program that will begin with the Spring housing lottery and take place over the 2011-2012 academic year ... It is our hope that this pilot program will broaden students' choices and help ensure living arrangements that are welcoming and inclusive for all members of our community.

The program will make gender neutral housing available in six residence halls, but Columbia College class president and senior Sean Udell hopes to expand its reaches in the future.

A Columbia blog reports that the student committee working on Open Housing will join forces with Housing Services to fill in policy details by dorm selections, which take place in March. It is not yet clear whether Barnard students will be able to participate in the new program.

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