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. The student government at GW has decided to engage in social engineering by advocating a “test” program allowing students of the same gender to share one dormitory room. A special residential program, funded by the university, already allows for this type of arrangement on a limited basis. Our “independent” campus newspaper has taken an editorial position advocating mixed sex housing. This follows in the wake of much talk of gay civil rights in the District–a proposed gay marriage law before the city council, overturning regulations on gays in the military, and the cascade of other colleges allowing gender neutral housing. Without delving into the deluge of the various manifestations of liberalism’s most recent cause celeb, the issue of gender neutral housing has the same ramifications as the other demands–for the Academy, morality, and the society we wish to preserve.
Conservatives, unlike the legions of academics led by Fish, Nussbaum, and company, still view the role of the Academy as not merely developing the analytical skills of students. Colleges, as key institutions within our civil society, are charged with developing the moral life of students so that society may thrive. Understanding morality, through a study of the transcendent principles that form the basis of our culture, is applicable to both the aspiring politician and physicist. The debate over gender neutral housing is not one of liberation, but one of destruction, as it is a symptom of the creeping cultural relativism that seeks to undermine the mission of our colleges in promoting a moral society.
Gender neutral housing is nothing more than another attempt by the left to hijack an institution of society so that it may be destroyed and resurrected around a notion of enforced equality. The only thing being liberated here is libertinism, an anti-culture built upon the chaos of perpetual gratification of desires. Thus is the moral arc of the 21st century. Our colleges 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. The moral relativists cannot be satisfied until social anarchy is realized.
Writing in our post-modern age, complete with its ignorance of history, we’ve been attempting to divorce gender roles from the family and sex from procreation since time immemorial. The amorality of liberals and the idea of the ever expansive State to which they subscribe has since the 1960’s unraveled the role of the family as primary social institution. Subverting gender roles, quite simply, perverts the ability of individuals to form functioning families. When the family and the Academy are unable to cultivate moral citizens, there is no society left. While some define traditional gender roles as an oppressive social hierarchy, it is in actuality order which defends us from depravity. Gender neutral housing is wrong because of the norms it obliterates, norms which define society–which we must safeguard for future generations.
Joe Naron is the Director of Press for the GW Young America’s Foundation