Stony Brook University offers gender-neutral dorms

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STONY BROOK -

Students began moving into their dorms Friday at Stony Brook University, and a growing number are choosing to live in gender-neutral housing.

Senior Derrick Wegner says he was a bit nervous when he first arrived at the school. As a transgender man, he says he was relieved to find gender-inclusive housing on campus.

"You're just accepted into this community that's already prepared for you," he says.

Stony Brook has had a gender-neutral housing program for 10 years. What started as a small program has grown to include about 200 students.

School officials say gender-inclusive housing is for everyone, meaning anyone of any gender can share the same dorm room. Even relatives of different genders can share the same suite.

Students must meet two requirements to participate in the program: they must be 18 years old and have to sign a contract agreeing to respect the gender identities of their neighbors.

For his senior year, Wegner is working as a resident advisor to make sure other students adjust to campus life, no matter their identity.

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