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UPDATED: Gender-Neutral Housing Takes Off On Campus

Dorm Life

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 05/16/10 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 04:50 PM ET

Mixed-gender living policies are cropping up on college campuses countrywide, though some schools are having an easier time establishing them than others.

According to the Los Angeles Times, 50 U.S. schools currently allow genders to live together, including Yale, Grinnell and Washington University in St. Louis. Harvard, George Washington University and the University of Oklahoma are all in talks to allow it.

Many schools have already instated gender-neutral living policies, which vary from campus to campus. At certain colleges, students of mixed gender can share suites with a common kitchen and bathroom, but not bedrooms. At other colleges, men and women can live together in the same room. Regardless, the decision to live with person of the opposite sex often has nothing to do with gender or sexuality.

As University of Chicago freshman Justin Garbacz told the Chicago Maroon:

"You ask yourself, 'Who do I feel comfortable rooming with? Who am I good friends with? It was less about our sexualities and more that we're all good friends."

There has been pushback against the initiative at some schools. Students at Columbia fought for a policy that would allow students of different genders to live in the same dorm room to be passed this year -- the school already allows mixed-gender dorms -- but were defeated when the administration called the timeline for constituting the rule "unrealistic." Discussion of the mixed-gender living situations at Princeton inspired dueling editorials in the Daily Princetonian; the dissenting opinion cited the potential "uncomfortableness" of the scenario.

What do you think? Would you live with someone of the opposite sex?


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