Local university and transgender student at odds over housing - KPTV - FOX 12

Local university and transgender student at odds over housing

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NEWBERG, OR (KPTV) -

There's controversy in Newberg after George Fox University is accused of not giving a transgender student the on-campus housing he wants.

A discrimination complaint was filed Friday morning with the U.S. Department of Education.

The attorney for the student wants to put pressure on the university in hopes it'll change its decision.

For the last year, Jayce M. has been living in the female dorms at George Fox University.

During that time, Jayce completed his sexual transition to becoming a man and now he wants to live on campus in male housing.

"It didn't seem right or appropriate to be living with females any longer, so he requested to live with males the following year," said Paul Southwick, an attorney representing the transgender student.

The university denied that request.

However, it did give Jayce an option for on-campus housing.

That option was to have Jayce live alone in a single room, but that was something Jayce's attorney didn't like.

"Given some of his mental health concerns as well as his desire to have an active and vibrant social life, that wasn't going to really be an option for him. A save option for him," added Southwick.

George Fox wasn't commenting on the controversy but issued a statement saying in part:

"George Fox strives to be a Christ-centered community and our residential facilities are single sex because of our theological commitments. The student's request to switch from female-only on-campus housing to male only-on campus housing is one that many institutions would struggle with."

"I totally recognize that this puts the university in a tough place because we are dealing with a lot and we're really dealing with a really, really, strong personal feeling on all sides of this," said Connor Magee, who supports his friend Jayce.

Jayce's mother has taken to the web to try and get support for her son by creating a petition page.

She's trying to get as many signatures as possible in hopes that the university will change its mind.

In 24 hours the page got more than a thousand signatures.

"I really think it's important to have an open and loving dialogue about this. That's one thing I care deeply about and that we all respect each other," added Magee.

If Jayce isn't allowed to live on campus his attorney says he will likely end up living off campus as long as his friends are able to go with him and they can find a place to live.

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