Gender and Student Housing

The official campus record of each student’s gender identity is maintained in the Academic Information System (AIS). Gender values maintained in AIS are:

Value Definition
Female (F) Female | Trans Female | Trans Woman
Male (M) Male | Trans Male | Trans Man
Unspecified (U)* Unspecified | Genderqueer | Gender NonConforming | Different Identity | Decline to State | Unreported
*In Student Housing Online this value is represented as Nonbinary (X).

NOTICE: In recognition and support of the Gender Recognition Act (SB 179), which streamlines the process for individuals living in California to change their gender markers and also creates a nonbinary gender category (X) on California birth certificates, drivers’ licenses, California identity cards, etc., UC Santa Cruz is in the process of implementing changes to data systems and practices to ensure the inclusion and recognition of the new nonbinary gender category (X). Until the planned changes are implemented, students logging into AIS to update their gender information will continue to see a third gender option of Unspecified (U).

Students may view and update their gender information through MyUCSC ( Changes made in AIS are updated in Student Housing Online (SHO) through an automated process within 24 hours.

Room and Roommate Assignments

A student’s gender plays a role in determining their room and roommate(s) assignment. In most cases, students are assigned roommates of the same gender. For example:

  • a student with a F gender designation would be assigned to a room with other students with F gender designations.
  • a student with a M gender designation would be assigned to a room with other students with M gender designations.
  • and a student with a X gender designation would be assigned to a room with other students with X gender designations.

This general practice is followed whether the student is assigned to housing by a Housing Coordinator or whether the student is among those who are eligible to select their own housing during the online room selection process (continuing UCSC students only). Housing Coordinators have the ability to assign students with different gender designations upon request, however, continuing students participating in online room selection cannot override this assignment practice. Students are encouraged to contact their Housing Coordinator prior to room selection if an override is needed.

Additionally, most floors/apartment areas of university housing are mixed-gender, meaning students of any gender live on the same floor or apartment. Bedrooms are single-gender while bathrooms may be designated as mixed-gender with private toilet and shower stalls. For those who prefer to live with others of the same gender, single gender floors or apartments may be available (based upon demand). Bathrooms are primarily used by individuals who identify with that gender. During the housing application process students can specify a preference for mixed-gender or single-gender floors/apartments.

Trans-inclusive Housing

Located in the Merrill College residence halls (freshmen) and the Redwood Grove apartments (continuing students)

Trans-inclusive Housing areas are intended to create safer and supportive spaces to live for transgender, genderqueer, gender nonconforming (GNC), gender nonbinary (GNB) students, as well as questioning and ally students. Students may room together regardless of gender or legal gender. Please note that this room assignment is likely to be on a mixed-gender floor/apartment and all students share common areas (e.g. bathrooms). Only students who indicate an interest will be assigned to Trans-inclusive Housing (supplemental application required) more »

Room Selection (Continuing UCSC Students Only)

Make a plan! Talk to your group ahead of time about what types of rooms each person is willing to accept and who will share a room with whom. Have a plan – and a back-up plan!

Online Room Selection:

  • Some rooms made available for room selection have a gender designation -- most commonly as part of a single-gender floor or apartment. Rooms that have a gender designation are only available to students of that specific gender. Rooms that are not designated as being available only to a specific gender are available to any student to select and will take on the gender designation of the first student who selects a space in the room.
  • The spaces available to a student during room selection are based on the student's individual gender, or in the case of a group, the size and gender make-up of the entire group. For example, a group of three female students would only see rooms/apartments with three spaces available for female students.
  • A student is able to assign themself to a vacant room, or to a room shared by other students of the same gender.

Assignment by Housing Staff (New UCSC Students and Continuing Students on Waiting Lists)

Assignments for new UCSC students and continuing students on waiting lists are managed by Housing Coordinators. Students are assigned housing based on their gender and the preferences expressed in the housing application process.

Individual follow-up is often needed to determine an appropriate assignment for any student with a nonbinary (X) gender, or when trying to assign a roommate(s) to a room already assigned to another student whose gender is unspecified.