Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Co-ed dorm rooms 

The University of Chicago has a new policy that permits male and female undergraduates to share a dorm room.

This doesn't quite reach the free-love philosophy espoused in the 1973 film "The Harrad Experiment," in which co-ed roomies were swapped out every 30 days (to the delight of actor Don Johnson), but it is an interesting policy for an institution that is acting in loco parentis. I did not exactly go through college living like a monk, and a few of my roommates had what amounted to live-in girlfriends (one couple is still together -- as husband and wife -- nearly 30 years later), but as a matter of official policy for a major university, I think this is notable.

I don't think that I am quite at the point of asking myself, "Now, why couldn't I have been born in 1990?" It may well be a case of be careful what you wish for -- I am not sure how much studying I could have done while sharing a dorm room with a 21 year-old female. It would be distracting even now (with all of my accumulated worldly wisdom and self-control), and, at my age, I can't blame it on raging hormones, since I am at least 10% below my peak testosterone levels:

So, I pose the question to parents of college-age offspring (or to the students themselves): what do you think of the U of C policy?



By Blogger fche, at Tue Jul 07, 07:44:00 PM:

"it is an interesting policy for an institution that is acting in loco parentis"

Are you forgetting that university students tend to be of legal age?  

By Anonymous tyree, at Tue Jul 07, 09:12:00 PM:

"Legal age" is not automatically mature. If the kids are so responsible, let them come up with the tuition their own. They can't, in most cases and that's where the parents come in.

I think the students should be required to have a note from their parents for this. An assumption that there would, of course, be no objection is just plain wrong.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Tue Jul 07, 09:36:00 PM:

"let them come up with the tuition their own."

I did.

"I think the students should be required to have a note from their parents for this."

That sounds... Saudi.

I think that the parents' opinions are irrelevant. The 'kids' are moving out for a reason; to live on their own and make their own decisions. In some cases, they go out of their way to piss off mom and dad just because they can.

Should they need a note from mommy and daddy to rent a motel room? Buy cigarettes? Sign a contract? Stay out past 9? Take a class about evolution v. creationism? This could go on forever.

At some point, people are adults. Our society says 18. If people don't like the policy, they won't apply to the school. *shrug*

Besides, when I was in the Texas dorms I had females down the hall from me. No one cared. It was not important in the slightest.

Forced gender segregation is a social engineering project best left to militaries and theocracies.  

By Blogger Tigerhawk Teenager, at Tue Jul 07, 10:52:00 PM:

It might not be the greatest idea to make it standard, though I don't think there's an 18-year old that wouldn't automatically check the box that says "Coed Rooms."

On one hand, it might cause more conflict in general, because men and women communicate differently. On the other hand, it might help the two genders LEARN how to communicate with each other. I think it could be interesting, and it's a good experiment. I hope it goes well.  

By Blogger Alex, at Tue Jul 07, 11:23:00 PM:

I have a theory that intelligent people who, in their youth, made decisions that the contemporary culture frowned on and either punished outright or stimatized the person. These folks were made to feel bad about their "wrong" decisions and behavior.

Then, when these intelligent people got older and acquired positions of authority, perhaps in higher education, they worked to change the rules so that their behavior was no longer considered wrong. They can now bask in being "ahead of their time".

Being an adult means you are accountable for your own behavior...and you pay your own bills. If my teenage daughters want to pay their way through school, they can llive anyway they want.

And for anyone to imply that most teenage boys are anywhere near adulthood in our extended adolescent society...well good luck with that.  

By Anonymous Squealer, at Wed Jul 08, 12:37:00 AM:

Well, in those dorms where roomies share suites with separate rooms (as many of the UofC dorms do), I don't think this is much of a big deal. After my first two years of dorm life, and subsequently all the way through grad school, I always had co-ed roommates but never became romantically entangled because to do so would be disruptive and put my living situation at risk.

Of course, looking back... I wish I'd taken a little more advantage...  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Wed Jul 08, 02:38:00 AM:

Sharing a "livingroom"-- cool.
Sharing the standard cubby-room with two beds-- uh, no. In fact, HELL no.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jul 08, 08:27:00 AM:

I bet they get a lot more guys signing up than they get girls. The female of the species isn't that enthusiastic about gratuitous cohabitation with an unknown male...and if teenage boys had more sense and less testosterone, they wouldn't be either.

As for the arguments about the "adultness" of the college kids, I think it is safe to say that there is a huge difference between legal responsibility and emotional responsibility.

And damn few college kids are footing the costs of college by themselves...college is often nothing more than a 4 year party paid for by Mom & Dad, resulting in a useless degree. So if Mom & Dad are smart, their $ will be contingent upon some legally binding conditions.  

By Anonymous Ted, at Wed Jul 08, 01:48:00 PM:

This is Obama/Chicago/Leftist/Slut-Culture Logic ti reduce STD's

Since they will fornicate anyways (fatalism), at least by shacking them up one-to-one, we can reduce STD's.

Whadda ya think?

Stupid of course, and we all know that women are "one-man" creatures, so the male students will all be whipped before they get out of the indoctrination center so they cna live their pansy lives.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jul 08, 10:06:00 PM:

I've already informed my daughter that she'll be living in an all-female dorm next year. It's not that I don't trust her; I don't trust 18-year-old boys. If she prefers another arrangement, she can pay her own room and board.  

By Anonymous tyree, at Thu Jul 09, 01:35:00 AM:

Dawnfire, if you paid for your college tuition on your own, fine, but I was obviously referring to the children who are attending school on mom and dad's dime.

Making sure the parents are informed is hardly "Saudi". College campuses today are filled with teachers and administrators who are trying to force liberal ideas into the students heads. I work at a University campus and one of the professors objected it our using "conservative" with the word "estimate" and crisply demanded that we find a new word. Wanting the parents to be informed is just a way of protecting them from that kind of socialist reprogramming.

When I was a kid one of the people we knew was upset because his father kept demanding results out of his college education. We sided with the kid until my father mentioned, "Do you know how big a boat his dad could buy with 4 years of tuition to USC? If the kids doesn't want to attend, fine, but while he is there he owes it to his family to study, not play around".

Maybe that kind of attitude sounds "Saudi" to some people, but my father paid for his little brother to attend dental school, so he wasn't just talking the talk.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jul 09, 11:54:00 AM:

Are you at college for a good time or to actually learn something that will help you throughout your life? Years ago the goal of college was to graduate educated students and now that is not the case.

Statistically segregated classrooms, dorms and study areas produce students with higher understanding as evidenced through standardized test scores. The NEA and progressive colleges overlook this minor fact.

If you are at college to chase girls, then this arrangement is fine.


By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Thu Jul 09, 12:12:00 PM:

Sadly, Dave, from most of my high school classmates, they went to college because their family wanted them out of the house....  

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Thu Jul 09, 09:25:00 PM:

I started college in 1971, when co-ed dorms were just coming in. I recall at the time the reasoning was that boys and girls wouldn't be increasing the amount of time having sex, because in such situations people would learn to be just friends in a more natural way. Nice theory.

I could hardly have done less studying my first two years, so I can't say that having a female roommate would have been worse. I suppose I could have flunked out with less work. I am not sure a co-ed dorm would necessarily have been damaging, in retrospect. But I can also imagine disaster.

However, I was a complete twerp then, and was in no way an adult as I understand the term now. I was a very smart twerp, and would have been outraged at any grownup who dared suggest I was not adult, but it was true nonetheless. My sons, each of whom was more mature (well, three out of four) than I was at that age, were not adults at 18 either. And they were well up the bell curve compared to their peers.  

By Anonymous Formerly known as Skeptic, at Fri Jul 10, 05:30:00 PM:

Very simple, they would be off the list. If very many parents agree, the school's applications will plummet. Let's hope so. And hopefully they will get the message.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jun 08, 10:36:00 PM:

WHO CARES IF THEY HAVE SEX? THEY ARE BOTH ADULTS AND IF THEY BOTH WANT OR NEED SEX THAN SO BE IT! I mean whats the big deal? Personaly I think that co-ed dorms are a good idea. If a guy or a girl want a room with someone of the opposite sex who the hell should have the right to tell them they can't have it! I myself am so sick of other people and the government controlling every little thing. If it was up to me all dorms would be co-ed. And I thank dorms that are not co-ed have a big sex discrimination problem.  

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