UW-Eau Claire is known for its inclusivity for LGBTQ members. Chancellors Hall, Haymarket Landing, Aspenson Mogensen, the Suites, and the rainbow floor in Towers Residence Hall have gender-inclusive housing.
UW-Eau Claire says it is committed to the pursuit of an inclusive and welcoming environment for its students. Incorporating safe spaces around campus allows for students to have a place to go and not feel judged.
“Having a home base where people understand your experiences and are able to let your guard down,” Quincy Chapman, the Director of Housing and Residence Life, said.
This means a student can share a unit/space regardless of a student’s assigned sex, gender expression or identity, or sexual orientation. To do so students need to establish a roommate group that can fill all available spaces within the designated unit. Safe spaces give students the necessary means to be able to openly express themselves.
When signing up to be a member of the Rainbow Floor community, students must commit to maintaining an inclusive and welcoming living environment, respect the floor and its guests, understanding that living on the said floor does not indicate a specific gender, sex, or sexual orientation or gender identity, willing to learn about others experiences and finally be aware and responsible for your language.
This gives many students a chance to freely express themselves and feel included on campus.
“It is awesome to see inclusivity in our campus and for college students to have the opportunity to feel safe and supported in their living environment,” said third-year communication sciences and disorders student Chloe Sundeen.
Anxiety can be a reason why a student develops avoidance behavior due to fear of isolation or unprecedented judgment. Safe spaces give students a break from these feelings and most importantly provide marginalized groups and members of the LBGTQ community an opportunity to freely express themselves.
Safe spaces aren’t an overcorrection rather just an environment where students can speak openly without retaliation and engage in new ideas. This is not saying that students need to be protected from arguments or “the real world”. It is ensuring students who don’t identify as the majority in their school a place where their ideas can be freely expressed.
“It is a big statement to have multiple areas for inclusive housing on campus and I’m proud UW-Eau Claire is making it known that this is a university for all,” Conner Boehm, third-year biochemistry student, said.
For more information regarding the LGBTQ floors and apartments, student housing is available to answer questions and direct students to the correct resources.
Maxwell can be reached at [email protected]