Students at the University of Chicago now have the option of living in coed dorm rooms without permission from their parents, a policy that marks a sharp departure from the institution’s more traditional campus culture. The pilot program beginning this month will even allow romantic couples to share rooms, because the university will not be asking students why they want to live together, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune.
University officials say the program is the product of a student-led initiative. However, freshmen will not be allowed to request “open-housing.” Parents were informed of the plan through a letter that was sent out last semester.
Asha Woodall, a 19-year-old sophomore at the university, told to the Tribune, “In today’s day and age it’s not really fair to discriminate based on gender anymore. Sexuality is more of a spectrum.”
Other universities such as Oregon State University have had great success with coed dorm rooms. Josh Gana, assistant director for operations and facilities at Oregon State, told the Tribune, “It’s a way to accommodate diverse lifestyles. It’s what students are demanding more and more,” noting that the school will have more than doubled the number of mixed-gender housing this year.
More than 30 universities nationwide offer gender-mixed dorm arrangements.
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