Mixed Gender Dorm Rooms at University of Chicago
Male and female students will now be able to room together, following a student led initiative to offer mixed gender dorm housing at the University of Chicago. Mixed dorm rooms will not be assigned but students will be able to request them after their freshman year. They do not need their parent's approval to do so.
Following a trend in a small number in universities across the country, University of Chicago says it is responding to student demands. These days, male/female relationships do not just fall under the category of romance. Students cite their open views of relationships, friendships and sexuality as arguments for a change.
Coed dorm rooms are allowed at more than 30 campuses nationwide, but they have generally been socially liberal institutions, such as Wesleyan University, Oberlin College and Oregon State University. The policy is a departure at U. of C., which has a no-nonsense, nose-in-a-book reputation.
The program won't apply to freshmen, and students won't need permission from their parents to live in "open housing." A letter announcing the program went out to parents this week.
While most students seem to support the option, many will probably opt to remain in same gender housing.
Mixed housing arrangements may help students in the transition into the “real world” post university, where young adults will often transfer to new cities and move in with strangers, of all types. Students are more open minded, in general, than they were a decade ago, and having a mixed gender dorm room likely will not cause most students to blink an eye.