Pictured at the launch of the Rainbow Housing Initiative at Plassey House, UL. Picture: Orla McLaughlin/ilovelimerick.
PHOTOS University of Limerick launches Ireland’s first ‘rainbow housing’ option for LGBT students.
Campus Life Services, who provide on-campus accommodation at the university, will now give the option for students to apply for rainbow housing when submitting a housing application for their seven residences, which house over 2,800 students.
.@UL and @AccommodationUL Campus Life Services Village Manager Carol-Jane Shanley speaking about the importance of the new Rainbow Housing Initiative, which will provide LGBT+ students a safe living space #ilovelimerick #lovelimerick #rainbowhousing pic.twitter.com/wfB6T9dQl7
— #LimerickTilliDie (@ilovelimerick) 18 July 2019
Rainbow housing is for students who wish to live together in a house/apartment that supports the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and allied community at UL. Residents of rainbow housing create and maintain a living space that is affirming to all sexual and gender identities.
Campus Life Services Village Manager Carol-Jane Shanley spearheaded the initiative that has already received nearly 200 applications from over 30 different countries for the upcoming academic year.
Ms. Shanley said, “Campus Life Services has long been committed to providing the best student living experience for students at the University of Limerick. This involves ensuring high-quality accommodation facilities and service in a secure environment for all of our residents. It is with this intention of providing a secure, safe living environment for all residents that we came up with the programme.
“We are not naïve enough to assume that this will solve the problems of every LGBTQIA student in UL. However, it can create a conversation in which people can learn from one another. The best way to fight homophobia and transphobia is to educate and that is what we hope to do with rainbow housing,” she added.
UL is the first university in Ireland the second across the UK and Ireland to provide rainbow housing for its students living on campus.
Organisations that have pledged to support the initiative include Limerick Pride and GOSHH (Gender, Orientation, Sexual Health, HIV) Limerick.
Dr. Amanda Haynes, co-director of UL’s Hate and Hostility Research Group, said, “UL will be enriched by the presence on campus of a resource that encourages all of our LGBT students and allies to be active, critical, political, disruptive and constructive contributors to our collective campus life.”
“Rainbow housing is not about self-segregation. It’s about giving LGBT students access to a supportive base in which to launch themselves confidently, proudly, and assertively into campus life. In addition, the University’s introduction of rainbow housing sends out a clear message to all students, whatever their identity, that this campus intends to be a safe and inclusive space for LGBT people,” she added.
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Pictures: Orla McLaughlin/ilovelimerick