Welcome! The LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and other gender identities/sexual orientations) Community at Penn College is an initiative being launched Fall 2021 that was developed in conjunction with PC Alliance and the Penn College Student Government Association. The intent is to give students in the LGBTQ+ community and their allies an inclusive, supportive, and comfortable space in which to connect, live, and learn with one another.
Who is an LGBTQ+ ally?
An Ally is someone who supports, advocates for, and brings attention to issues facing a historically marginalized population, or an oppressed population. Although many LGBTQ+ allies identify as heterosexual, it is important to understand that LGBTQ+ individuals can be allies to themselves and other members of the LGBTQ+ community by actively supporting the needs of their community.
What are the LGBTQ+ Community Benefits?
Students living in the LGBTQ+ Community will cultivate relationships within an intentional community of supportive peers and staff working together to create welcoming spaces for self-expression, discuss LGBTQ+ issues, and have fun. The purpose of this community is not to facilitate the cohabitation of romantic partners.
Expectations of the Community?
Students are expected to contribute positively to the community by offering support and encouragement, respecting other members’ different motivations for choosing this living option, and embracing and learning from experiences different from their own.
Where is the Community located?
Presently, the Community is to be located in Campus View Apartments, which is in the upper-level student living area and consists of four-person, two-bedroom apartments. While the community is located in an upper-level living area, limited space will be reserved for new students who feel they would benefit by being a part of this community. While the College will make every effort to accommodate a student’s desire to be part of the community, due to space limitations, there is no guarantee that every student who expresses interest will be assigned to the community.
How do I apply?
If you are interested in living in the LGBTQ+ Community, contact the Residence Life Office by email, email@example.com, or call, 570.320.8023. Students must also apply for on-campus housing and pay a housing deposit to be considered for assignment to the community. Since returning students are assigned in April, and new students are assigned in June, it is important that a student completes the housing application process prior to housing assignments to have the best chance of being assigned to the community.
When will I be notified about placement?
- New students who have applied for housing by the end of May will find out when housing assignments are announced in mid- to late-June.
- Current students will find out during the student assignment process in April.
How am I assigned apartment mates?
Students in the LGBTQ+ Community will be living in four-person, two-bedroom apartments with two people in each bedroom. The four residents of the apartment will share a bathroom, kitchen, and living room.
Because of the nature of this community, genders will not necessarily be placed on each apartment, giving students the ability to find the gender makeup of an apartment that best suits their needs.
Current students are encouraged to build apartment mate groups utilizing the “Group of Four” process. If a current student is unable to find apartment mate matches, they may utilize RoomSync to find compatible matches or contact Residence Life and request to be assigned to a space within the community. Residence Life will contact the student to get additional information so that the best possible placement can be made.
Once a student expresses interest in living in the community, someone from Residence Life will contact you for additional information so that the best possible placement can be made. Absent additional information, the College’s general practice is to assign students by the gender indicated on their housing application. Following in these practices, students who indicate their gender as “male” will be assigned with other students who identify as “male,” and students who indicate that their gender is “female” will be assigned with other students who identify as “female.” For instances in which a student identifies differently, the student will be asked if they prefer living with males or females or a combination of males and females. New students may also look for possible roommates using RoomSync (there is a question on RoomSync that asks “How comfortable are you living with someone who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender?”) or, if the student knows another student who is attending Penn College, they can make a roommate request. Roommate requests must be mutual, and all requested roommates must be interested in living in the LGBTQ+ community.
Given the limited size of the community in its initial year, the exact option that a student desires may or may not be available. Residence Life will communicate with the student through the process and only place the student into the community if the student is comfortable with the option that is being offered. If the option is not available, the student can opt out of the community and will be placed into regular housing. Residence Life will make note of the student’s interest in case an opportunity becomes available within the community at a later time.
Will my request remain confidential?
Pennsylvania College of Technology is in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); therefore, your request will remain confidential. The community will not be identified by any outward means (such as signage); rather, it will exist based on the fact that a group of students are assigned to a particular area. The Resident Assistant (student staff) for that area and other Resident Assistants within the complex, as well as the Residence Life professional staff, will be aware of the community and sensitive to the needs of its members so that they can provide the best possible support.
While the College will only reveal this information to those at the institution who have a need-to-know, you may want to consider how, and if, you want to share information with family members and others who may or may not be aware of your sexual orientation or gender identity. At times such as move-in day, family members may have questions about your assigned roommates. The College has support resources in place that can assist you in planning how you will handle these situations if they arise, and how you could speak with family and/or friends prior to arriving at the College. If you are interested in utilizing the support services, contact the office of Diversity and Community Engagement.
What about safety and security?
Ensuring the safety and security of all students at Penn College is a top priority. Each tower of 12 apartments at Campus View is locked 24/7 (with the exception of move-in day, other special events or other unforeseen circumstances) and can only be accessed via card access. Only students living in a particular tower and authorized staff members will have access to a building using their ID cards. Campus View has a staff of seven Resident Assistants (one per tower) and a Coordinator (a professional staff member who lives on-site). The Resident Assistants conduct rounds throughout the facility in the evening. Residence Hall Monitors cover the front gate of each complex between the hours of 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. each evening, and the Penn College Police patrol the area outside of the residence halls and are ready to respond on short notice.
Penn College takes issues such as harassment and discrimination seriously and will respond accordingly. College policies prohibit offensive, discriminatory, or harassing behavior based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. If a member of the community experiences any issues of harassment or discrimination anywhere on campus – or by another member of the Penn College community on- or off-campus – they are encouraged to report the issue to Residence Life staff and/or Penn College Police.
The Office of Student Engagement offers a variety of social and education programs, support services, and professional staff trainings to provide a deeper level of knowledge on the LGBTQ+ community. Additionally, PC Alliance is a LGBTQ+ student organization with the purpose of improving the visibility, strength, and support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning students, and LGBTQ+ allies through an educational and social environment.