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Northwest Missouri State University

Gender Neutral Housing Options

First year students

Any student who has gender or gender identity related concerns can speak with the Residential Life Specialist about housing options by phone or email. After this conversation, which will include a discussion about type of room, room location, bathroom facilities, and roommate matching options, a housing assignment will be made in an appropriate housing area. If it is determined that a private room is needed private room rates will be applied. During the process a student may opt out of any accommodations being offered and be assigned based on freshmen housing process.   

The Residential Specialist will be in touch, via phone or email, with any students whose gender recorded on the new student housing application does not match the legal sex recorded in the University’s data collection system. If you would like to initiate this conversation in an alternate way, you have questions about the housing process or if you would like to learn more about housing options available for students who identify as transgender or gender non-conforming please contact the Residential life office at 660-562-1214 or by email at  

Upper-Class Students 

Upper-Class students select housing through the room selection process held each spring and students have the option to select gender neutral housing assignments or coed housing assignments.

All the suites in the East and West Tower Suites and all of the Forest Village Apartment buildings; Hawthorn, Willow, and Sycamore have the option of being gender-neutral housing. These designated suites and apartments are made available in the room selection process in the exact same manner as all other housing options. A gender neutral optional housing designation simply means that either a single-gender group or mixed gender group may select these suites or apartments. The selection of gender neutral housing optional units will be by student choice only; no student will be assigned to a gender neutral living situation without his or her express consent.

The following policies and conditions are applicable to students who elect to live in a gender neutral housing option and reside with a person of a different gender (regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression). You acknowledge that you understand the terms of the policy and conditions and also agree to be bound by them.

  1. All roommates in gender neutral housing must be 18 years of age at the time of the request and must be an upper-class or graduate student and be eligible for University housing. Incoming first time Freshmen students are not eligible to participant during their first two semesters.
  2. Applicants must fill the suite or apartment being requested to full capacity. Meaning there must be an eligible student applying for every bed space in the suite or apartment.
  3. If a vacancy exists in a gender neutral suite or apartment, the following with occur to fill the empty bed:
    • The Residential Life Office will allow the remaining residents to identify a new roommate to fill the vacancy. The Residential life office will define the time allocated to find a new roommate. This window of time will vary depending on the time of year and status of the housing waitlist. Typically, a resident will be allowed a minimum of 24 hours, but no more than one week to identify another roommate.
    • If a new roommate is not found by the remaining residents, The Residential life Office reserves the right to place another student who has requested gender neutral housing in the open bed.
    • The Residential Life Office also reserves the right to require the remaining residents to relocate to another room; room type match not guaranteed. 
    • The Residential Life office, at its discretion, may allow the students occupying the room to pay for the additional space if all agree to the additional charge.  
  4. In the absence of extenuating circumstances, residents will communicate to their roommate(s) any plans to change rooms or cancel their housing agreement as soon as possible.  The roommate leaving the Suite or Apartment should help find someone to take their bed space.    
  5. Like most Universities, Northwest discourages students of any sexual orientation who are in relationships from living together in a residence hall housing unit, although we do not question the student’s motives for wanting to live in a gender neutral housing option.
  6. It is the resident’s choice if they want to tell their parents or guardian about their decision to live in a gender neutral housing option. The Residential Life Office encourages residents to talk with their parents or guardian about their housing choice so that they can be in support of their decision.
  7. Gender neutral applicants follow the same room selection process and deadlines as other applicants. Students will sign an additional agreement which affirms their understanding of the Gender Neutral housing Guidelines. 
  8. There is an inherent risk in entering the room selection process in a mixed gender group. Should all suites or apartments that have the gender neutral optional designation be selected by the time a mixed gender group’s number is called, the group will be unable to select any housing unless it can be divided up into single-sex groups and select separate suites or rooms. If accommodations are needed during the room selection process please contact the Residential Life Office.