Nearly 400 years ago, our forefathers sailed across the Atlantic to begin life anew in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.All in all, they were pretty decent people, armed with steely religious conviction and a work ethic that would put Samuel L. “I’m in every movie, ever” Jackson to shame.
They single-handedly laid the groundwork for the country we know and love today.
However, they were sorely lacking in one department. No, it wasn’t Native American relations. Remember that the original pilgrims had a pretty cordial relationship with Squanto and his tribe, what with Thanksgiving and all.
The major flaw with England’s first successful settlement in the New World was the lack of male-female interaction. As far as the Puritan’s were concerned, the only inter-sex conversation that was to occur involved what color paper to print Bibles on. Anything else would land you in the stockade, Casanova.
Fast forward to the present day. Things are a bit different now. People wear other garments than the all-black, belt-buckle hat ensemble. The American population stretches from coast to coast. Religious dissent is accepted and no longer met with banishment to Rhode Island. However, there are still some people who believe that the best interaction between men and women is little interaction.
That being said, I applaud TCU’s decision to increase the number of coed dorms on campus. In his 2001 book, “Making the Most of College: Students Speak Their Minds,” Richard Light found that diversity was one of the top ways to bring new perspectives to the academic dialogue and enrich the lives of students.
Administrators wouldn’t shy away from placing black and white students in the same dorm because they know of the intense exchange of knowledge that can occur between people of different races. In fact, while I don’t have access to Residential Services policies, I would be willing to bet that they try to match up people of different races/cultures when it comes to potluck assignments freshman year.
Why then, in campuses across the country, should dorms be organized solely on the basis of sex? Are administrators afraid of the “naked teenage sex parties” that might result from coed dorms? Those all happen off campus anyway, away from the prying eyes of residence assistants and nosy neighbors.
It’s not like same-sex dorms are a deterrent to sexual behavior anyway. Anyone from sophomore level up can recall witnessing someone making the Sunday morning “walk-of-shame” from Milton Daniel Hall in its pre-coed days. It’s going to happen regardless of whether the residence halls are coed or not.
While supporters of same-sex campus housing are trying to crusade against so-called “deviancy”, they are ignoring the benefits that coed housing creates.
First of all, it creates a more mature standard of living. Everyone can agree that people are on their best behavior when members of the opposite sex are around. Dorms segregated by sex seem to foster a sense of seventh grade immaturity in their inhabitants. Guys run around with their underwear inside-out and draw penises on the walls. Girls talk about surprisingly non-feminine stuff and feel free to pass gas whenever they want. Coed dorms nurture a much needed sense of maturity in the future movers and shakers of tomorrow.
Also, let’s not forget the free exchange of ideas that occurs with coed living. Guys can get innovative science project ideas from the girls down the hall. Girls can get advice on boys from that one guy in 317. Both sexes can benefit from the each other’s way of thinking in coed study groups. All of this without ever having to leave the residence hall.
For those who feel differently, it’s time to wake up and smell the 21st century coffee. It’s time to realize that college kids will go at it like jack rabbits no matter the gender designation of their housing. What other benefit does same-sex housing offer besides a porous security blanket against sexual activity?
Coed living is the wave of the future and TCU is putting itself on the cutting edge of change – the exact place where a college campus needs to be.
David Hall is a sophomore news-editorial journalism major from Kingwood.