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Watch now: Illinois State University offering more housing options for LGBTQ community, allies

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ISU's Rainbow Floor rendering

This image, provided by Illinois State University, depicts an artist rendering of a rainbow across the windows of Watterson Towers. The Rainbow Floor will be located on the third floor of Watterson D House.


A floor dedicated to supporting the LGBTQ community has been added to the housing options at Illinois State University.

NORMAL — A floor dedicated to supporting the LGBTQ community has been added to the housing options at Illinois State University.

“The Rainbow Floor is blazing the trail for identity-based communities; I want students to see that it is possible,” Morgan Shurtz, president of the student organization ISU Pride.

The Rainbow Floor, located on floor 3 of Watterson D House, is a “living-learning community” designed for students interested in living on a floor supportive of the LGBTQ community, including those who identify as members or allies of the community, according to the ISU website.

Shurtz found support from various departments and faculty advisers before submitting plans through University Housing during the spring semester.

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The addition of this floor is sponsored by Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program; the Multicultural Center; and the School of Communication, and will be under the mentorship of faculty advisers Byron Craig, Cassie Herbert and S. Gavin Weiser.

Herbert, a philosophy professor, said the addition of a Rainbow Floor at ISU is “forging new ground,” as it will provide “a sense of belonging and support, a space to validate reservations, and a space where everyone counts.”

The housing placement will connect students with resources on campus and in the Bloomington-Normal community, including ISU Pride and the Multicultural Center. Social support and professional development opportunities will also be available from members of the ISU and Bloomington-Normal community through events exclusive to residents of the Rainbow Floor.

Students eligible for room selection can select the Rainbow Floor during their priority housing selection this month.

Contact Kelsey Watznauer at (309) 820-3254. Follow her on Twitter: @kwatznauer.


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