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UNC Board overturns gender-neutral housing

ABC Local
|
August 9, 2013

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- The UNC Board of Governors voted Friday to overturn a policy that would have allowed students of the opposite gender to share housing in some areas of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The measure passed without discussion.

Gender-neutral housing is backed by members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, who say it's about safety. They argue gay or transgender students are often bullied and harassed in traditional campus housing.

A small group of protestors showed up for Friday's vote. They told ABC11 the timing of Friday's decision put them at a disadvantage because it made it harder to rally opposition with most students being out of town until classes begin August 17.

"Gender-neutral housing would make it possible for LGBT students to have a safer place to lay their head down at night - a  basic need that the UNC system should meet," said Anthony Dondero, president of the UNC Charlotte student group Trans*Port in a statement.

UNC Chapel Hill's Board of Trustees approved gender-neutral housing last year. The pilot program would have affected two dorms and an apartment complex. It would have allowed students of the opposite gender to live in a group of dorm rooms that share a common bathroom or share a campus apartment together.