First-Year Housing

The housing system, consistent with Haverford’s long-standing commitment to student self-governance based on a comprehensive Honor Code, does not have live-in peer or professional staff.

Living among first-year students are upper-class students such as Customs People (CPs) and Upper-Class Advisors (UCAs). Customs People are sophomores and sometimes juniors, who answer first-year students’ questions, assist them with problems and/or direct them to the right resources when needed and help them transition to life at the College. UCAs are juniors and seniors selected by the Dean’s Office because of their knowledge of the curriculum and academic requirements. They, along with first-year faculty advisors, help first-year students plan their academic programs. These men and women do not take the place of the faculty advisors assigned to all first-year students; they offer additional information and help insure that first-year students and faculty advisors are in close contact throughout the year.

First-Year students are assigned their housing in one of four locations: Barclay Hall, Gummere Hall, the Haverford College Apartments (HCA) in one of five designated first-year buildings #22, 26, 34, 38, and 42, and Tritton Hall. All first-year students are expected to live on campus and are required to be on the meal plan except those who follow Kashrut or those who have been given special permission by their dean to live at home because they live within commuting distance or to live off campus due to special circumstances. All first-year housing is designated smoke-free housing. First-Year students are expected to remain in their assigned first-year housing for the entire academic year.

Bathrooms in first-year buildings

Upon arrival at Haverford, one of the first decisions first-year students make collectively with their Customs groups—except those living at Haverford College Apartments (HCA)—is whether the bathrooms on the hall will be designated as gender-segregated, or as gender-neutral. Bathrooms in first-year apartments at HCA are pre-designated as gender-segregated.

Many halls have more than one bathroom/set of showers, and some customs groups choose to designate one bathroom for males and the other for females. If the hall has only one set of bathrooms/showers other alternatives can be arranged, such as specific bathroom hours for each gender. In essence, the Customs Group works as a hall community in order to arrange a situation that fits everyone’s level of comfort.

For some, it may feel uncomfortable sharing their opinions and preferences so publicly, even if they feel strongly about one side versus another. For a number of reasons, some students would prefer to live in housing with gender-neutral bathrooms. This process may be especially uncomfortable for students who feel that revealing their preference publicly to their Customs Group might “out” themselves in relation to their gender identity, or gender expression.

With this sensitivity in mind, and in keeping with the mission of the College to be an inclusive and welcoming community for all, the Office of Residential Life will, in one of the twenty-four Customs Groups in first-year housing, formally pre-designate the bathrooms as gender-neutral in advance of first-year student’s arrival on campus.  Incoming first-year students will be asked on their Housing Questionnaire about their level of need regarding gender-neutral, and gender-segregated bathrooms.

Please note: After your first-year, gender-neutral restrooms are standard in upper-class residence halls at Haverford.

Students who would like more information about gender-neutral housing and bathrooms, or any other Haverford policies that may differentially impact students based on their gender identity or expression, please visit the website for Haverford’s Trans* Inclusivity Committee and/or directly contact a member of the committee.