Kaitlyn Miskelley, Correspondent
A trans housing bill was scheduled to be presented at the JSU senate forum Monday night.
Sydnee Houghton, student senator, and Jacob Price, president of JSU’s student LGBTQIA+ organization, Full Spectrum, are the co-authors of the bill.
The presented bill calls for the JSU housing office to allow trans students priority when registering for co-ed housing. It also requests that JSU Housing add an option that would allow students to match with other LGBTQIA+ students when searching for a roommate in the portal.
In the last five years, university housing has become a new front in the fight for transgender rights. According to Campus Pride, a nationwide non-profit focused on supporting college and university LGBTQIA+ initiatives, the University of North Alabama is the only post-secondary institution in the state with a gender-inclusive housing option.
Beyond these changes, Houghton and Price both stressed the importance of making information more accessible for students.
“Accommodations can be made, there are people that students can talk to and accommodations can be made if a trans student wants out of a dorm…but the thing is, students, not even RAs know about this,” Price said.
As it stands now, RAs go through an abridged version of Safe Zone training, and Houghton and Price are suggesting that RAs complete all Safe Zone training available in order to better prepare to assist the LGBTQIA+ students that live on their floors.
Houghton and Price also said JSU’s current point of contact for potential LGBTQIA+ housing issues is Disability Services. The co-authors said this is problematic because it equates being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community with having a disability.