The George Washington University recently announced that 144 students will live in gender-neutral housing starting in the fall of 2011, the first semester the university will offer this option.

The push for  housing is gaining steam across the nation, as larger universities like Rutgers University and The University of California-Berkeley have already approved the measure for the coming year. Over 50 universities nationwide currently offer some form of mixed-gender housing, according to the Arizona Republic.

At GWU, Allied in Pride, a student group that advocates for and provides support for LGBTQ students, was the primary force in convincing the university to accept the new arrangement, aided by the Student Association Senate, according to The GW Hatchet.

The presence of programs called Living and Learning Cohorts at GWU has also contributed to the desire for mixed-gender rooms. One of the cohorts, Escaping Gender, allowed students of the opposite sex to live with each other, according to a Dec. 3 article in The Hoya.

Students who requested gender-neutral housing were included in the same lottery system as single-gender pairs for residence hall rooms.

Discussion around gender-blind housing options at Georgetown began when the Georgetown University Student Association Senate passed a resolution encouraging the university to consider the option.

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