The following was originally published by The GW Hatchet on 1/21/2009
Our campus, as evidenced by recent actions by the Student Association and editorials in our newspaper, has become engrossed by the latest trend in higher education: the imagined right of students to room with students of the opposite sex. If the University decides to adopt the provisions of Michael Komo’s Student Association bill and offer gender-neutral housing, the student government at GW will have decided to engage in social engineering by advocating a “test” program allowing students of the same gender to share one residence hall room.
This is problematic on both pragmatic and moral levels. Social progressives argue that gender-neutral housing is necessary for gay students who feel uncomfortable living with the same sex, just as it would be awkward for a male student to share a room with a female student. However, anyone who understands the nature of college students surely recognizes the program encourages abuse. The Nov. 16 Hatchet staff editorial recognized the potential for couples to live together, and therefore greatly abuse the program. This will result in chaos for the University’s housing program and will lead to awkward room situations for individuals not involved with the couple, the obvious consequence of which will be a flood of students begging for room changes. The solution the editorial proposed is more than na’ve, “GW Housing Programs would need to explicitly state that romantically involved individuals should not choose to live together in campus housing,” and also admitted there is no way to curb the abuses that would occur: “there may be no way to enforce such a policy.” What is the point in the University implementing a policy that is predetermined to be largely unsuccessful and filled with egregious abuse?
In terms of morality, gender-neutral housing is nothing more than another attempt by social progressives to hijack an institution of society so that it may be destroyed and resurrected around a notion of enforced equality. Such housing situations will also destroy the safe-learning environment of our residence halls and rather actively encourage a culture of promiscuity, and reject traditional moral ideas of pre-marriage living arrangements. Allied In Pride and other campus progressives are saying to students that the traditional role of sex in society is reactionary, and our new morality should reject tradition completely to achieve absolute freedom. In our post-modern age, where the decline of the family is a serious problem, there is no reason for the University to supplant our gender and moral norms with the cultural relativism that permeates our society today.
This debate, while voracious as it is, will most likely be all for naught. The same Nov. 16 issue of The Hatchet reported that Senior Vice President for Student and Academic Support Services Robert Chernak said the University had no current plans to introduce gender-neutral housing to the residence halls. Chernak stated that, as of now, “The concept of gender-neutral rooms for unmarried undergraduates is not under active consideration.” With a surely more conservative Board of Trustees who have to take into account donors’ and parents’ reactions to this radical policy, I wouldn’t hold my breath for the implementation of gender-neutral housing anytime soon.
Sam K. Theodosopoulos is a junior majoring in political science and the editor-at-large of the GW Young America’s Foundation Blog.