Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Students Endorse Gender-Inclusive Housing in Referendum

Georgetown University students voted to approve a referendum that would encourage the university to establish gender-inclusive housing by the Fall 2025 semester, according to results the Georgetown University Student Association (GUSA) Election Commission announced April 13. 

The referendum, which ran April 11 to April 13, asked students whether they would favor the university establishing measures toward “comprehensive gender-inclusive housing” like opening options for students to room with people of different genders and asking students whether they would support roommates identifying as LGBTQ+ during first-year roommate selection. The referendum passed with 91.2% of voters in favor — 1,937 students in support, 188 against — and turnout of 31.2%, becoming the first referendum to pass since 2019. 

GUSA President Jaden Cobb (CAS ’25) said the result demonstrates students’ support for inclusion on campus.

“I am more than elated that the referendum passed, it is a testament that Georgetown students care about the LGBTQ+ community and making Georgetown a more inclusive place,” Cobb wrote to The Hoya. “We will take this to the board of directors where we will fight for the student body to truly make Georgetown a place for all.” 

To pass, the referendum required at least 25% of undergraduates to vote and the majority of those who voted to do so in support. Though the referendum passed, the university’s Board of Directors, which oversees Georgetown’s operations, has no obligation to enact the proposed changes.

Alongside Senate Speaker Megan Skinner (SFS ’24) and Senator Ethan Henshaw (CAS ’26), Cobb introduced the resolution in the GUSA Senate on April 2 that put the referendum on student ballots.

Liam Moynihan (SFS ’25), who serves as the advocacy director of GU Pride, a student organization which works to support LGBTQ+ students, said the referendum’s success is especially important to them given that they have been unable to access gender-inclusive housing in the past.

“As a non-binary student, this referendum and the results mean the world to me,” Moynihan told The Hoya. “Ninety percent of my peers are calling for the current housing system, that discriminated against me, to change.”

“I feel very seen. I feel very cared for. I feel very respected and affirmed by all of my peers, and it’s just wonderful,” Moynihan added. “It just shows that we have an incredibly supportive and affirming student body.”

At least 450 U.S. universities offer gender-inclusive housing, according to research by the non-profit Campus Pride, which advocates for safe college campuses for LGBTQ+ students. These schools include every member of the Ivy League, D.C. schools George Washington University and Howard University and Jesuit schools like Fordham University, Gonzaga University and Loyola Marymount University. 

Henshaw said the referendum will offer LGBTQ+ Georgetown students the same living standards as these schools. 

“This referendum will be incredibly impactful in making Georgetown a more inclusive and affirming campus for so many students, catching us up with the rest of the country,” Henshaw wrote to The Hoya. “Incoming LGBTQ+ first years will not have to worry nearly as much about living in a hostile environment, and students in all years will more easily be able to live in comforting and safe spaces.”

Aamir Jamil/The Hoya | Students voted to pass a referendum that would encourage the university to establish gender-inclusive housing.

Gisell Campos (CAS ’25), the communications director for GU Pride, said adding a question “regarding whether a student would‬‭ be affirming and supportive of a roommate who identifies as LGBTQ+” to first-years’ housing survey gives all incoming students the opportunity to adjust to college alongside a supportive roommate.

“Everyone deserves to have that freshman roommate experience, just a random roommate, someone that you don’t know,” Campos said. “Part of that experience is, ‘Oh, we get along because we like the same bands, and we get along because we like the same foods, but we argue because I don’t wash the dishes. We argue because they come home late at night.’ That’s what the college experience should be for your first year.”

“I think it’s super-important that now this referendum allows trans students to have that experience without transphobia being a part of it,” Campos added.

GU Pride Treasurer Mrudula Chodavarapu (MSB ’26) said the referendum result means more students will feel comfortable living as themselves in on-campus spaces.

“There’s so many genderqueer students on campus who are terrified, who aren’t openly out, partially because of roommates,” Chodavarapu told The Hoya. “It’s obviously not going to solve everything, but it’s a huge step in the right direction.”

For the gender-inclusive housing policies to take effect, they must pass a vote from Georgetown’s Board of Directors, the 42-member body which approves all major university policy changes. 

Dylan Shapiro (CAS ’26), a student who voted in support of the measure, said the referendum result shows students’ united support for the board approving gender-inclusive housing.

“The students of this university want a university that is more inclusive, that is more accepting,” Shapiro told The Hoya. “I think it’s great that the referendum passed, but now we need the administration to listen to their students and make that permanent university policy.” 

Moynihan said the referendum result demonstrates that students value inclusion, in line with Georgetown’s Jesuit value of cura personalis, caring for the whole person.

“I think it shows that we really live up to the values that many of us chose, in coming to this school, to follow,” Moynihan said. “It shows that we really care about each other and we really want the best for every single student here.”

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About the Contributor
Evie Steele
Evie Steele, Executive Editor
Evie Steele is a sophomore in the SFS from New York, N.Y., studying international politics with minors in international development and Chinese. She has been on TV twice and has been quoted in Deadline once. [email protected]

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