Binghamton introduces new LGBTQ+ Living Community to enhance inclusive housing options
In fall 2023, Binghamton University will unveil a new residential opportunity for incoming first-year students who wish to be actively involved in the LGBTQ+ community.
In addition to the variety of living communities that Binghamton University Residential Life offers undergraduate students, in fall 2023, students will have a new choice: the LGBTQ+ Living Community. Historically, the University’s residential communities have distinguishing traditions and cultures, reflecting the communities they house, that help foster camaraderie and a sense of belonging. The LGBTQ+ Living Community is the latest offering in Residential Life’s efforts to provide inclusive housing options where students feel welcome and safe.
Open to all incoming first-year students who wish to be actively involved in the LGBTQ+ community, the social culture will organize around LGBTQ interests, activities and issues. Located in Newing College’s Delaware Hall, the community features corridor-style double rooms that will house two students per room, with every three rooms sharing bathroom facilities.
Planning began in late 2021 when Anne Guanciale, director of intercultural affairs, and Q Center Assistant Director Nick Martin met with leadership at Residential Life: Casey Wall, director of residential life and housing, Amy Pollock Drake, senior associate director of residential life, and Susan Briggs, associate director of residential life and housing, to discuss implementation.
Guanciale indicated the new community is in line with what is happening at other institutions of higher education, including other SUNY campuses.
“We are excited to join other campuses in providing this kind of opportunity,” Guanciale said. “We are looking forward to welcoming the first cohort in the fall and co-creating more experiences to enhance community and belonging.”
Residential Life and Q Center staff will jointly support the community, and a live-in graduate assistant will serve in an operational and advisory capacity. Programming and activities will include community dinners, educational programs, events around LGBTQ+ History Month and other community-building opportunities. The aim is to provide a safe, comfortable and supportive space for students to connect and learn from one another.
The LGBTQ+ Living Community currently has 22 beds, and there is potential to expand beyond its current parameters depending on ongoing interest and need.
Gender-inclusive housing since 2014
“We’ve offered gender-inclusive* housing in all of our residential communities since 2014,” Wall said, “and this new partnership with the Q Center is an exciting way to deepen those efforts, particularly for first-year students as they get to know the campus and find their communities.”
*Gender-inclusive housing includes roommates of any gender identity including, but not limited to, man, woman, trans, nonbinary and genderqueer/gender non-conforming.