Living with the opposite sex on campus

The University allows students to request their own roommate – as long as they are the same sex – but some students think they should be able to request their roommate regardless.

Some parents already have concerns with their children moving away from home and living in the residence halls, even though they are not permitted to live with a student of the opposite sex. However, through orientation and registration, many parents’ worries are relieved, according to Mary Ann Begley, associate director of residence life.

“By the time we explain the bathrooms are coded those concerns go away. They are a little more relieved when they know there are RA’s living on the floor,” she said.

However, the question of bathrooms is not the only concern when it comes to students of opposite sexes living together. The University’s standards must also be considered when placing students with roommates.

“I would say primarily we are insuring that we are offering an environment that is conducive to everyone living there,” Begley said. “Academic success comes first and foremost.”

Although Jess Tucker, president of the on-campus LGBTA-Q organization, VISION, does not think sex is an important factor when determining academic success, especially since gay and lesbian couples are permitted to live together in the residence halls.

“We are all equal. I don’t understand what body parts has to do with living environments,” Tucker said. “How come lesbians are allowed to live with their girlfriends but straight people can’t live with their partners?”

Transgendered students on campus may be unsure of where they fit into the University’s policy.

“If there is a student that is transgendered, we will work with them one on one to make sure they are placed in an environment where they feel welcome and comfortable,” Begley said.

Courtney Flynn, sophomore, thinks students should be able to pick their roommate regardless of their sex and gender.

“Except for the coded bathroom complications, I think if you’re willing, and you know the person well enough, it would be okay,” Flynn said.

The University has explored the idea of allowing students to choose their roommates regardless of sex, Begley said.

But if the University ever were to change its policy, they might consider having parental consent forms for students wanting to live with someone of the opposite sex, Tucker said.

“I do think that eventually one day, to society, sex won’t matter,” Tucker said. “I do believe that; I’d like to believe that.”