Stonewall Suites is the newest thematic community in UNLV’s Residence Halls. Stonewall Suites, or
just Stonewall for short, is Housing and Residential Life’s first LGBTQIA+ and Gender Inclusive
community. While considerable outreach was made to the residents of the community in order to
ensure that they knew what they would be signing up for, a significant amount questions were left
unanswered prior to move in day. Would the residents interact well with each other? Would there
be and parents who were upset about their child moving onto Stonewall? We were even uncertain if
the mixed gendered rooms and suites would lead to any conflicts. Before we knew it, move in day
was here and we were going to find out one way or another if any of these fears and worries would
become a reality.|
It was almost immediately that we discovered that all of our concerns were unfounded. Both
residents and parents responded with overwhelming positivity upon moving into Stonewall.
Specifically, one parent expressed more peace of mind knowing that their child would be in a safe
and comfortable environment on Stonewall, rather than any of our traditionally gendered suites on
campus. In addition to this, there are a number of residents who identify as gender non-
conforming, who feel they can live authentically, rather than trying to fit themselves into a binary
The dust from move in day had not even settled yet when the residents began forming connections
and relationships with their fellow floor mates. Because everyone on the floor had a common
connection (identifying as LGBTQ+), residents wouldn’t have to worry about being marginalized as
a result of their identity. This foundation allowed the community on the floor to thrive and flourish.
A great showcase of their community was the LGBTQ+ mixer that our Residence Hall Association
hosts every year. Often times, events hosted outside of South Complex do not get consistent
attendance from our residents. The residents of Stonewall broke this standard by attending the
social in record high numbers for a single community. All but about 2 or 3 of the residents who had
already moved into Stonewall (25 residents in total) were in attendance. The vast majority of them
remained at the event for its entire duration. Residents of the community enjoyed the event so
much that they have requested our RHA do it again at another point during the year, which they
have never done before.
Since this, the residents of Stonewall have maintained one of the most active and positive floor
communities I have ever seen in my twelve years working in Residential Life. There are nightly
events in the Stonewall lounge, all brought forth by the residents themselves. They have built their
community up with little to no intervention by Res Life staff in an extremely short amount of time.
The community is already so strong that a wait list has formed for other residents who desire to
move into the floor. The mother of Stonewall’s newest resident, who was just approved for a room
change this morning, came in to thank me for allowing her child the opportunity to be a part of the
Stonewall Community, stating: “Thank you so much, this is where she needed to be.”
When a community is so strong that when a student is moved to tears upon finding out they have
been placed there, it is a community that is truly deserving of recognition. And with the first week
of class barely coming to an end this residential community is just getting started.
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