Gee - cant see anything wrong happening here!!
July 6, 2009
BY DAVE NEWBART Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org
Charlie Barlow plans to room with one of his best friends next semester at the University of Chicago: Lauren "Lulu'' Danzig.
The two are among 50 students who will take advantage of a new policy allowing male and female undergraduates to room together -- something that was forbidden throughout the 117-year history of the Hyde Park school.
For 19-year-olds Danzig and Barlow, it's not a romantic thing: She already has a boyfriend on campus. She says she simply prefers to live with men, and Barlow is a very close friend. nah... no problems there!!!
"I tend to get along better with guys,'' she said. Still, she said, she couldn't imagine sharing a dorm room with her boyfriend.
Although the policy is not aimed at romantic relationships, boyfriends and girlfriends aren't prohibited from living together because the U. of C. will not ask why students want to be roommates, officials said.
The change in policy was debated for the last couple of years after advocates for transgender students pushed the university to allow "gender neutral'' housing. They said some transgender students feel uncomfortable rooming with students of the same biological sex when they actually identify with the opposite sex.
After a series of public forums and campus study, the program was piloted last semester with 10 students, although it was dubbed "open housing'' and was only for upperclassmen. Freshmen are still assigned roommates of the same sex.
Matthew Kennedy, the past student government president who helped craft the policy, said the program allows older students the option to live with whomever they choose.
"People can really seek out the living arrangements that make them feel the most comfortable,'' said Kennedy, 22, of Glen Ellyn.
Katie Callow-Wright, U. of C.'s director of undergraduate student housing, said although a handful of alumni and others complained when the school was formulating the policy, since it has been in effect there has been "no complaints, no issues, no concerns.''
Said Kennedy: "For most students it doesn't matter too much to them what's happening in the room next door.''
Danzig, of Seattle, said some of her friends have joked with her about living with a guy, but she has gotten generally positive reactions. She said her roommate choice doesn't make a difference to her parents. And she said she often gets dressed in a single-sex bathroom
In some respects, the program is not that big of a change. Coed floors -- in which men and women live in separate suites on the same floor -- already existed in some residence halls on campus, as did coed bathrooms. There are still single-sex dorms, and only those who choose to participate will have a roommate of the opposite sex.
And if problems arise, a student can request an emergency transfer to another room -- just as any student could.
Kennedy said the policy shows that U. of C.'s reputation as a conservative campus is overblown.
"What the university stands for is serious inquiry, and it is open to change when change is called for,'' he said.created by billy on Jul 06, 2009 at 11:13:13 am
© 2003-2012 Toledo Talk
Creative Commons License - Some Rights Reserved
current date: 25-May-2013 11:50 P.M.