When evaluating potential schools, incoming students often have a long checklist of criteria for determining what makes a good university — interesting classes, a nice campus, a good reputation, etc. — but one of the most important factors in determining whether a college experience will be good is one few people consider: a responsive administration.

While only about 20 students have currently signed up for gender-neutral housing, with freshmen selecting housing over the summer, it is commendable that the university listened to student support for the option and is willing to give it time to grow. Participation in gender-neutral housing may be small — and, even as the option grows, will likely remain a small percentage of students living on-campus — it provides a much-needed sense of comfort and safety for those using it.

The push for gender-neutral housing, which began in Winter 2010 and continued through this fall, when Housing announced that students could opt to live with members of the opposite sex, was very much a grassroots effort, and while change came slowly, the important thing is that it came. After the cause garnered support from the student body, the Resident Housing Association, various LGBT groups on campus and Student Senate, the housing option — which Andy Beachnau, director of Housing and Residence Life, said was not a consideration for the university in March 2010 — was added.

The program still has room to grow, and this first year will likely feature some growing pains, but the Lanthorn gives credit where credit is due — credit to the students who campaigned for more than a year to bring housing at GVSU into the 21st Century and make living on-campus a more inclusive experience for everyone, credit to the administrators who listened to what their students wanted and responded and credit to the students who are taking advantage of the option.