Possible LGBTQ housing coming to Mercer


Image: Jenna Eason

Common Ground is talking to Residence Life about making a wing or a floor of a building an LGBTQ+ community in the school year 2019. It will be a space of LGBTQ+ people and allies to live together much like how the International House is a community for international students.

Kat Heesh, Staff Writer

Housing might be changing for the 2018-2019 year.

Mercer’s LGBTQ-straight alliance organization Common Ground has proposed a housing plan that will give a wing or floor of a building to the LGBTQ community and their allies.

“I think it’s much needed. It gives LGBTQ people a safe environment to live in,” junior Alisabeth Graham said.

The housing would be a way to raise awareness of the LGBTQ presence on Mercer’s campus said vice president of Common Ground James Stair.

Stair also said that the LGBTQ community has no intention of trying to separate themselves from other students, but rather the housing opportunity would give LGBTQ students a chance to educate others about their community.

“It’s more just to serve as a safer form of housing for people who might not feel as safe if they were to have a random room assignment,” he said.

Common Ground would help the LGBTQ housing community to host events that anyone on the Mercer campus could attend.

“It’s a way to kind of bring everybody together and kind of gain a better understanding about the community,” Stair said.

The planning for the housing is still in its early stages.

An official proposal has not been submitted yet to Housing and Residence Life, according to Director of Housing Jeff Takac.

Some students support the housing idea.

“I mean, I don’t see how it would hurt anyone, so why not?” sophomore Ryan Bsckowski said.

If implemented, Mercer would be one of the four colleges and universities in Georgia to have LGBTQ housing, according to the Campus Pride website.

However, this approach would set itself apart from those types of housing. Stair said that the housing would be similar to a “live and learn community,” which is offered for any group of people who have shared interests ranging from music to religion.

“I am very hopeful that it will go far, and that it will get approved,” Stair said.