Spectrum Housing

What is Spectrum Housing?

Spectrum Housing is an environment designed to create a sense of safety and community for passionate members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies. MIU strives to provide ideal living environments that will maximally support each student’s ability to benefit from their time here as a student. For students who feel that living in binary gendered dorms will impede their ability to function optimally as a student, the Spectrum Housing option may be a more appropriate choice.

Why is MIU choosing to offer the spectrum housing option?

MIU has chosen to offer spectrum housing because we find it important that housing policies evolve to meet the needs of students and to create an inclusive, welcoming environment.

What are the differences between co-ed and spectrum housing?

Co-ed housing would be defined as buildings where men and woman both live together. This is not co-ed housing. Our school’s founder, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, found it important to separate the genders in order to provide optimal living spaces for personal evolution. We are not altering the intent of his recommendations, rather fastidiously implementing them in order to more inclusively recognize the needs of students of diverse identities. This dorm is intended to minimize discomforts and distractions that would be created for students to live in the current male-only and female-only living options. This housing option is not intended as co-ed housing, which by its name assumes two genders (male and female) and would not be in line with the legacy of our founder. This is not a housing option for those who only want to live in a co-ed type building.

Who can participate in spectrum housing?

This housing option is available to all students who consider themselves LGBTQ+ or are an ally. Space is limited and priority will be given to students demonstrating need over preference.

Note: Wikipedia definition of a straight ally: A straight ally or heterosexual ally is a heterosexual and cisgender person who supports equal civil rights, gender equality, LGBT social movements, and challenges homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. Despite this, some people who meet this definition do not identify themselves as straight allies. A straight ally believes that LGBT people face discrimination and thus are socially and economically disadvantaged. They aim to use their position as heterosexual or cisgender individuals in a society focused on heteronormativity to fight homophobia, biphobia and transphobia

If I identify as transgender do I have to live in the spectrum housing?

No. You can choose where you live based on your gender identity. We suggest you talk with someone in Student Life to learn more about your housing options, although that too, is your choice.

How do I apply to live in the spectrum housing?

If you are a new or returning student, apply to live in spectrum housing by filling out the general housing application as well as the spectrum housing application.

General Housing Application (New Students)

General Housing Application (Returning Students)

If you already reside on MIU campus, please contact Director of Residential Life directly.

What are the application deadline dates to apply for spectrum housing?

Applying for the spectrum housing option for 2018-2018 Academic Year is July 21st, 2018.

Moving to or from the spectrum housing in mid-semester is bound to the same policies of moving rooms mid-semester.

Please contact Student Life Department for inquiries.

On Campus Housing Guidelines

Room Change Request Form

What will be the duration of spectrum housing room assignment?

As with all on-campus housing options, spectrum housing room assignments will be given for one semester at a time. This will also allow us to accommodate for incoming students entering each semester who express a need to live in the wing. For Spring semester room assignments, priority will be given to students expressing a need over preference, and to current occupants. All students will need to reapply at the start of each new school year (Fall semester), where priority will be given purely based on need over preference.

What if someone who requested to take part in spectrum housing decides they no longer wish to do so?

Students may request room changes by following the normal room change procedures.

What if parents don’t want their child to live in spectrum housing room?

We encourage students to maintain an open dialogue with their families so that they can be supportive of a student’s housing decision, but we have no requirement of parental consent for students of any age to live in spectrum housing.

Additional Resources:

MIU Housing General Housing Application (New Students)

General Housing Application (Returning Students)

Spectrum Housing Application

On Campus Housing Guidelines

Room Change Request Form

The Genderbread Person is an infographic used as an educational tool, demonstrating the continuum that gender identity, gender expression, biological sex, and sexual orientation exist on. The general idea is that each of us fall in unique places on each of these spectrums, and where we fall on some of the scales may even change over time.


For example, a heterosexual, biological female, who identifies herself as a woman, may not express her femininity as overtly from day to day. By wearing different clothing and makeup, a woman can express her gender in more and less “feminine” ways. This change in gender expression would in no way inherently reflect a change in sexual orientation, biological sex, or gender identity.


  • More information on The Genderbread Person can be found by following this link.
  • To connect with the LGBTQA+ community at MIU, check out their Facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/fabulous.mum/?fref=ts
  • To learn more about gender diversity terminology follow this link
  • To see what colleges offer gender inclusive housing options visit campuspride.org
  • Iowa’s leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organization working toward full equality for LGBT individuals- http://oneiowa.org/