By: Sophie Schultz | September 22
A new housing option became available at Ten Broeck Hall this fall that looks to promote inclusivity and connections among LGBTQ students living on campus attracted 46 students.
Jake Evans, the founder of the Harvey House, describes this unique living experience. “With Harvey House, the housing experience is different in the way that you’re not defined to a box. There are infinite gender combinations when it comes to housing and the rooms you’re in are a welcoming and intentionally inclusive space. We put a lot of thought into Harvey House to make sure it is as inclusive as possible to validate everyone’s identities.”
Not only does Harvey House provide a welcoming and inclusive community for LGBTQ+ students, but they also offer special programming events such as pot painting, art showcases, and socials. While these events are tailored for the residents of Harvey House, they are open to all students with the intention of keeping the events inclusive and welcoming.
“We don’t just want it to be a living space, we want it to be totally intentional,” said Sarah Amplo, co-founder of Harvey House. These programs are designed to validate students’ identities while fostering a sense of community among residents.
The residence is also placed in close proximity to the Health Center and Counseling and Psychological Services on Dutch Quad as well as the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center and Women’s Support Center in the Campus Center West. The GSRC in particular offers LGBTQ+ support resources and a trans advocate to make sure that everyone’s needs are met.
“It’s a place that allows students to be their authentic selves,” Evans says.
The Harvey House is supported by a $6,500 STAR grant from the university which allows students to live in this housing with no extra charge while enjoying all of the programming that the residence has to offer.
Gender-inclusive housing is a fairly new idea across college campuses that seems to be growing more popular. Harvey House draws its inspiration from SUNY New Paltz’s Rivera House which also offers gender-inclusive housing. This housing is available to both new and returning undergraduate students living on campus and shows promise for growth beyond the walls of Ten Broeck.
Harvey House also gives the option for new residents to join the second semester in order to keep their residence in this housing confidential from their parents or guardians if they choose. This housing option is designed to meet all the needs of LGBTQ+ students, whatever they may be, to create the best living situation possible.
“LGBTQ housing is so important in general because queer people are disproportionately affected by homelessness and housing insecurities, and there’s a number of reasons for that, but the biggest reason is not being supported and respected wherever they are living,” Amplo says.
The Harvey House is the first step of many in creating an inclusive environment on campus where people of all genders and sexualities can be accepted and supported.