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
Nonbinary (X)* Nonbinary | Genderqueer | Gender NonConforming | Different Identity
Unspecified (U)* Unspecified | Decline to State | Unreported
*In the Housing Portal this value is represented as Nonbinary/Different Identity.
Students may view and update their gender information through MyUCSC ( Changes made in AIS are updated in the Housing Portal 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 female gender designation would be assigned to a room with other students with female gender designations.
  • a student with a male gender designation would be assigned to a room with other students with male gender designations.
  • a student with a nonbinary / different identity gender designation would be assigned to a room with other students with nonbinary / different identity 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 room selection process. Housing Coordinators have the ability to assign students with different gender designations to a room upon request, however, students participating in 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 communities are intended to create safer and supportive living spaces for transgender, genderqueer, gender nonconforming (GNC), and gender nonbinary (GNB) students, as well as questioning and ally-students. A trans ally is someone who advocates for and supports members of the community and actively contributes to creating a positive, affirming, living environment for people of all gender identities. Students may room together regardless of 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). (Supplemental application required.) Learn more »

Room Selection

An online room selection process is used to assign most continuing undergraduate students to housing spaces at their applied-for-community. Students who do not participate in room selection may be assigned by their Housing Coordinator. New frosh, new transfers and new visiting students are assigned housing by their Housing Coordinator.

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!

  • Some rooms made available for room selection have a gender designation — most commonly as part of a single-gender floor or apartment. Rooms that are not designated as being available only to a specific gender 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 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 may assign themself to a vacant room, or to a room shared by other students of the same gender.

Assignment by Housing Staff 

Assignments for new incoming students and students on waiting lists are managed by Housing Coordinators. Students are assigned housing based on the preferences expressed in the housing application.

Individual follow-up is often needed to determine an appropriate assignment for any student whose gender is unspecified.