Chapter 16:
Organizing Floors In Residence Halls
Edited by Felice Yeskel, Ed.D.
History of the 2 in 20 Floor
Having a safe, supportive and secure liv 
The 2 in 20 floor is what is known as a
ing situation is one of the major issues
SIRP (Special Interest Residential Pro 
facing lgbt college and university stu 
gram).  At UMass there are several dif 
dents.  Homophobic harassment ranges
ferent kinds of SIRP's.  In addition to the
from mild to severe toward students who
2 in 20 Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and
are out, suspect, or just unlucky.  LGBT
Transgender SIRP, there is an Alcohol &
students often remain closeted in their
Drug Free SIRP, a Non Traditional Aged
residence halls, which leads to isolation
SIRP, a Multi Racial living SIRP, and
and alienation.  Most students try to
many more.  One of the main goals of
move off campus as soon as they are able.
each SIRP program is to create a positive
However, some schools have policies that
living environment for students who
restrict living off campus.
share similar interests.  Additionally, the
program offers an educational component
One response to this situation at the Uni 
to its residents.
versity of Massachusetts at Amherst was
to create a special floor in a residence hall
Your university or college may already
for lgbt students and their heterosexual
have SIRP or similar programs.  At
allies.  Although the administration
UMass there were already several of
resisted this organizing effort for some
these programs in existence.  Despite
time, eventually such a living option was
this, the proposal for a 2 in 20 SIRP, sub 
established.  Currently UMass is one of
mitted during  the Spring semester of
only a few colleges in the country to have
1992, encountered strong resistance.
a Gay Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender
Nevertheless, the 2 in 20 SIRP was start 
and Ally floor in a residence hall.  This
ed in the Fall semester of 1992.
floor, called 2 in 20, is the result of a lot
of hard work, the powers of persuasion
Assess the Campus Climate
and luck. 
The impetus for creating the 2 in 20 SIRP
came primarily from lgbt staff in the res 
idence halls, both undergraduate R.A. s
This chapter is based on a draft written by Brian DeOliveira and materials compiled by
members of the Two in Twenty community at UMASS, Amherst.
O r g a n i z i n g   F l o o r s   i n   R e s .   H a l l s
M     2 8 9


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