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Are they seriously living together?

The proposal to create gender-neutral housing at Columbia University seems like a godsend for many students living on college campuses, but I feel like this could be a situation where the packaging is more appealing than the actual product.

Many LGBT groups on the campus of Columbia University proposed this policy as a means for gay and lesbian students to feel more comfortable living on campus because some LGBT students feel uncomfortable or unsafe living with someone of the same sex who may not be OK with their orientation.

On the surface, this seems like a great idea for gay students, but the policy merely segregates LGBT students out of the system, instead of allowing students to become accustomed to differing lifestyles.

I understand LGBT students have been involved in uncomfortable living situations where a roommate may be intolerant of differing sexual orientations, but I don’t think moving gay students to a different part of the school solves anything.

We don’t need gay ghettos on campus.

The proactive alternative would be to promote awareness and tolerance instead of separating housing.

Gender-neutral housing would allow student couples to begin living together on campus; opening the door for potential increases in premarital sex leading to further complications such as unplanned pregnancy and the contraction of sexually transmitted diseases. I’m not saying all college students are horny lovebirds, but it’s definitely a potential risk. Beware the sounding of slapping flesh.

Premarital sex, though a choice, seems a bit irresponsible for universities to allow. It would be tantamount to school administrators passing out condoms and saying, “Have fun kids.” I don’t want the adrenaline rush of breaking the rules by banging your significant other at school to lose its authenticity when universities institute co-ed dorm rooms. I mean, come on, let’s keep the tradition of sneaky sex alive!

The policy could also subject students to a discomforting culture shock. Incoming college students who are unaccustomed to a gender-neutral living situation may find the process socially awkward and difficult to adapt to.

The housing policy poses even more of an issue when parents or scholarships pay for many students’ room and board. I’m sure some conservative parents will call foul against the policy and feel insecure towards their children living with the opposite sex. And parents should be upset. If I send my child off to college, I’d rather not have him or her worrying about potential drama in the dorms.

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, a famous sex therapist, said in a 2009 New York Post article that allowing college couples to shack up together would handicap the process of experimentation and discovery. She said gender-nuetral dorms cause students to become more worried about their sex life than their education. Also, she said if a couple needs to be together every single minute, then the couple should move off campus.

I couldn’t agree more with Westheimer. How can you put yourself fully into your education if you have to deal with relationship drama when you come back to the dorm? It’s a bridge I feel should not be crossed for its lack of simplicity.

Let’s stick with gender-separated housing in order to keep things easier. There are boundaries that should not be crossed on campus, and if you can’t deal with it, then perhaps off-campus housing is a more viable option.

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    AdrienneOct 15, 2010 at 2:15 am

    they honestly think they’re preventing premarital sex by having gender-separated housing? hahaha wow. that’s just….wow. yeah hate to break it to them but gender-separate housing has minimal if any effect on premarital sex among students.