Open House residents pose at the pumpkin patch

Open House Learning Community

How to Join

  1. Sign your University Residence Halls contract and submit your advance payment in My UW Housing
  2. Select the Open House Learning Community as your top choice when you submit your hall preferences in My UW Housing
  3. Prioritize learning communities over residence halls when you submit your hall preferences in My UW Housing
  4. Receive your room assignment

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Open House is one of the most accepting and friendly communities. Everyone is welcoming and it will honestly feel like you’ve gained a second family.

Darren S., Open House Resident

Seminar

Open House residents take a wagon ride at an outside orchard

Open House Seminar
Gender & Women’s Studies 100 | 1 Credit

This one-credit course is led by Open House Faculty Director and Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies Dr. Sami Schalk. The course explores past and present topics in LGBTQIA+ communities. Readings and discussions in the seminar will be extended and enhanced by impromptu conversations and experiences between residents and the Faculty Director, with opportunities to bring in guest speakers. This fun class is exclusively available to Open House residents and is available every fall and spring semester.

Focusing on historical and contemporary issues within LGBTQIA+ communities, seminar is an amazing opportunity to learn about and from LGBTQIA+ folks from first-person experiences in an intimate, supportive environment.

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Programming

Community Goals

  • Encourage each student to understand and explore their own identity formation
  • Create brave spaces where residents can be their real, authentic selves in all of their social identities
  • Examine power and privilege and the crucial role of allies in making social change
  • Play an active role in fostering an environment of awareness, respect, and advocacy for all sexual and gender identities

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Events & Activities

Each semester, Open House hosts a variety of events that support and expand upon the ideals of the community. The events vary from movies to speakers to cookouts. No matter the occasion, all events aim to build a stronger community and give anyone and everyone the chance to express themselves. Other notable events and activities include:

  • Bringing prominent speakers to campus
  • Field trips
  • Movie nights
  • Workshops
  • Local and national conference trips
  • Karaoke nights
  • Crafts
  • Cookouts
  • Study jams
  • Game nights

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Gender Inclusive Housing

Transgender icon

Gender Inclusive Community

Part of 4th floor of Lowell Center | Singles, doubles, and triples with bathrooms | Any gender


This community is available in the southeast neighborhood of campus just feet from Lake Mendota and State Street. Roommate preferences can be of any gender (regardless of a student’s assigned sex, gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation). If you do not indicate a roommate preference, a roommate of any gender may be assigned.

New students who are interested should list the Gender Inclusive Community as a preference in My UW Housing.

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New pride flag

Gender Inclusive Housing

Rooms in Dejope, Phillips, Smith, Waters, & Witte
Singles, doubles, and triples with bathrooms | Singles & doubles with a shared all gender bathroom


Gender Inclusive Housing is intended to meet the needs of transgender, gender non-conforming, nonbinary, and LGBTQ+ students and allies to select a housing assignment that is inclusive, safe, and comfortable.

New students who are interested should list the Gender Inclusive Housing as a preference in My UW Housing.

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Staff

Dr. Sami Schalk

Credentials: She/her(s)

Position title: Faculty Director of Open House, Associate Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies

Scott Seyforth

Credentials: PhD

Position title: Assistant Director of Residence Life

Travis Winger

Position title: Program Coordinator