Join Lavender House!
The Lavender House Living-Learning Community is a home of and for LGBTQ+ students and allies who want to learn about LGBTQ+ lived experiences as they are shaped by intersecting and marginalized identities. Students in this LLC will take a 3-credit introductory course to queer studies which will provide a foundation for the history and tradition of LGBTQ+ leadership and advocacy.
What is Lavender House?
Lavender House is built for queer and trans students, as well as allies to the LGBTQ+ community, and is open to students of all majors of study. Here, we explore identity and the intersections, experiences, and histories that guide us. Through weekly activities and coursework, students in Lavender House will develop a deeper understanding of LGBTQ+ cultures, history, and leadership. This living-learning community strives to create a supportive and affirming space on campus for students to be in community with one another.
Similar to another interest-specific community relative to identity, Ujima, which is open to any student who is interested in learning about and supporting Black/African-American experiences, Lavender House is open to all students who are interested in learning more about LGBTQ+ Studies and supporting the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ people. This includes folks with identities at the intersections of: race, ethnicity, ability, class, gender expression and identity, spiritual or religious background, and regional or international background.
We welcome particularly students of color, trans students, students with disabilities, first-generation students, neurodivergent students, and students of any gender identity.
Lavender House students should expect:
- A dedicated floor in O'Shaughnessy Hall, the home of Lavender House
- All-gender restrooms on the Lavender House floor
- A 3-credit required Pathways course about the histories, cultures, and futures of LGBTQ+ communities
- Community-wide activities to build your skills in leadership, creativity, and critical thinking
- Social events on campus with other Lavender House members
- Collaboration and engagement with other campus and community partners, such as the LGBTQ+ Resource Center and the Leadership and Social Change Residential College
If you are a new student coming to Virginia Tech, you can apply for Lavender House once you have accepted your offer of admission from Virginia Tech and paid the matriculation fee. If you are a current or returning student, you can apply in the StarRez Portal beginning in October. Learn more about the application process here!
Is this community only for students of a certain major?
No. Lavender House is a partnership with the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, but students of any college/major may (and are encouraged!) to be in this community.
What safety measures are in place?
Students in Lavender House have a single-use, all gender bathroom on the floor. Additionally, the community bath has locks on both toilet and shower stalls. Virginia Tech housing facilities all come equipped with swipe entry for only students of that building, and swipe/code entry for individual rooms.
Do students pay a fee?
Yes, like all LLPs, student in Lavender House will pay $50 per semester to be apart of this community.
What is the difference between this LLC and GIH (Gender Inclusive Housing)?
Lavender House is an academic experience (i.e., intro to queer studies course) and co-curricular experience (i.e., specific activities planned for students in this community by a dedicated program director). Additionally, Lavender House will only be located in O’Shaughnessy Hall. Lavender House students can opt in to have their room be GIH-designated, which simply means they are paired with a student who also opts into GIH and thus is accepting of their identities.
The purpose of GIH is to provide an affirming living environment for gender-diverse and queer students that allows them to pursue whatever housing interests they have, at various price points, without having to choose between those things - their interests, affordability, and having an affirming environment. The GIH community is geographically dispersed across all on-campus residences, offering options at multiple price points, within all LLPs, and in multiple room types. GIH will support programming for GIH students to provide space for connection and community for those folks who are physically distanced from each other.
Is there any financial support for the cost of housing?
Both the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and the Office of Living-Learning Programs are currently engaged in exploring scholarship opportunities and hope to share more as details develop in the future.
How will this community work with GIH and the LGBTQ+ Resource Center?
Lavender House is another option for students (both queer-identifying and allies) who want support in their college experience. Dr. Bing, Director of the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, has been a member of our steering committee since day one and we view these endeavors as working together to create more meaningful experiences for queer students and allies at Virginia Tech. GIH will continue to have some programmatic support, but primarily to promote social connections from GIH students from across different places of campus.