UI gay and lesbian students want their own residence floor

The University of Iowa's Mayflower Residence Hall, shown in July 2008. (Brian Ray/The Gazette)
The University of Iowa's Mayflower Residence Hall, shown in July 2008. (Brian Ray/The Gazette)

Members of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender community at the University of Iowa are pushing for their own residence hall floor.

Quentin Hill, a member of the GLBT Allied Union Executive Board, said the Board is working with University Housing and Dining to open the floor for the 2012 school year.

"We will need about 50 people to sign up," Hill, a freshman from Eagle Grove, said.

The GLBT Allied Union asked University Housing and Dining to offer this option on housing applications ahead of the current year, but even after it was added only about 10 students signed up, Hill said.

"I think it needs to be better advertised," he said. "We will keep trying."

The University currently has more than a dozen residence hall floors designated as Living Learning Communities (LLC).  The communities generally are focused around specific areas of study such as engineering or business. Kate Fitzgerald with the University's Housing and Dining Department, said a GLBT floor would be classified as a LLC.

Currently none of the three state Universities in Iowa offer residence halls, or floors, exclusive to GLBT students. Hill said the LLC would be open to anyone who's a GLBT advocate, which would open the community up to any student interested in living on the floor.

Some have speculated that a GLBT floor could become an attraction for harassment, vandalism, or even hate crimes, but Hill said he feels comfortable at the University of Iowa.

"People seem to be open and affirming here, and accepting even though they might not agree with it," Hill said. "I think that's a unique thing about Iowa City."The GLBT LLC has already been added as an option for students on the 2012 fall housing application, Fitzgerald said.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.