Before one can answer whether the option of living in coed dormitories should exist, it is worthwhile to ask if there are any significant reasons for the option not to exist.
Coed dorms have been with us in the United States since at least the 1970s, and what was once seen as a radical departure from established living has now become much more commonplace and socially acceptable.
Challenging preconceived gender notions that were once universally agreed upon has been a staple of humanity since the beginning of time, and it’s good that it took place during this development. However, this has never been the intention of students who want to live in coed dormitories.
Instead, more students are recognizing coed dorms as a gender-neutral space where they can practice an inclusive lifestyle that best suits their needs and desires alongside their fellow responsible schoolmates.
When it comes to attending a university, these students are trying to fulfill a desire to seek new experiences. Giving students the choice to live with others of the opposite sex is one more opportunity for them to learn more about themselves – something that all good schools strive for.
And that is not to say that it is somehow wrong that particular students do not want to live in coed dorms. In fact, their decision not to live in such dorms can be just as illuminating – but, again, it is important to give them that choice.
So why is it that coed dormitories still aren’t allowed?
If it is a logistical concern – not enough space, lack of student interest, weak financial justification, etc. – then there is an understandable position with which to work. However, if those in charge are worried about any physical safety or distractions, then their fears are misplaced.
For one, there has not been significant research to suggest an increase of male-female violence in correlation to an introduced coed dormitory. And as far as distractions go, they will always exist in some capacity, and coed dorms can actually provide a controlled environment where safety can be practiced.
Overall, what students are looking for is to be treated like adults, and they will only see the restriction of coed dorms as an arbitrary limit to the new experiences they hope to attain as adults. Additionally, with the number of regulations already in place coupled with the financial amount they have to pay, there are a lot of students who feel genuinely cheated out of their college experience.
With the goal of further developing as an adult, it is in everyone’s best interest that the choice for coed dorms be established.