Editor’s Note: This popular post was first published on January 19 here.
As you may or not know, I graduated from Ohio University (not the Ohio State University, but the Ohio University in Athens, Ohio). Being the good little Bobcat alum that I am, bleeding green and white, I like to keep up with the latest news at my alma mater.
Sadly, when I found out that OU was going to let male and female students live as roommates as a social experiment, I wasn’t surprised.
The pilot program, which is termed “gender-neutral housing” was pitched as an accommodation to the fleeting minority of Bobcats who are transgendered, according to Mickey Hart, director of OU’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Center. In four dormitories, 50 dorm rooms in each building will be available to upperclassmen wishing to live with an individual of the opposite sex. Freshmen wishing to participate in the social experiment will be allowed to do so by special request.
Naturally, OU’s administrators see absolutely no way that turning dormitories full of hormonal, emotionally immature kids barely out of high school into school-sanctioned love shacks can go wrong. OU’s Vice President for Student Affairs, Kent Smith, said that the program “[doesn't] encourage those who are in a dating relationship to apply [to live together], but that “it’s a possibility” that students may do so.
Of course, as with most progressives’ social experiments, this is a solution in search of a problem. The university’s existing policy already allowed students to request a housing transfer, if personality conflicts or what-have-you were occurring. Proponents of co-ed dorm rooms have cited anecdotal evidence that LGBT students were being harassed by roommates—at one of the nation’s most progressive universities, no less.
While fans of co-ed dormitories may argue that this is a big win for tolerance, they neglect to mention that these special privileges aren’t extended to other, less politically-correct “minority groups.” For example, should conservative students at OU start demanding special housing, to protect them from harassment in the dorm rooms, by the majority? Should Seventh-Day Adventist students ask for members-only housing, to protect them from perceived, potential discrimination at the hands of the majority?
Obviously, the answer is no. The world can be a rough place, and even if all of this supposed bigotry and dormitory intolerance happens at the Berkeley on the Hocking, people should learn how to positively deal with it. What we should not be doing, though, is increasing the risk of college-age unwed pregnancies and STDs.
However, I’m sure all this makes way too much sense for my alma mater. Let’s all sing a chorus of the famous B-52s song—no, not that song!—to celebrate more academic stupidity…Love shack, baby, love shack…