The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Co-ed Dorm Rooms are Inappropriate

3 min read


As usual, the LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transsexual) community has come up with another issue in which they are marginalized and “discriminated” against: campus housing.

I don’t think anyone is surprised.

It seems that when laws and policies were created, they didn’t take the LGBT community into consideration.  Perhaps that’s because this community didn’t exist in the past like it does today.

Sure, there have always been people with sexuality questions, but it seems the more rights this community gets, the more of them there are.  Either it’s easier to come out in a friendlier society, or it’s easier to change your sexual preference.

What you believe is your call.

I’ll tell you what I know.  I know that gender neutral housing is not going to go over well with high school students and their parents on tours.  They are going to have more than a few questions.

Of course after five minutes of explaining the propaganda supporting this initiative, some concerns may have subsided.  But parents are still going to worry about their daughter sneakily filling out her campus housing contract to live with her boyfriend and vice versa.
The students are going to fear sharing bathrooms with people of the opposite gender (or sex, what have you).

When I was a junior in high school I was horrified at the thought of living in the same building as males.  I felt like it was inappropriate and unsafe.

By the time I filled out my housing contract for UMW, I decided mixed dorms were OK, as long as the genders were split by floors.
After giving dozens of tours, this seems to be where most people draw the line.  Parents and students alike usually flinch knowing a few freshman dorms have mixed floors, even if it’s rare.

Gender neutral housing is beyond their scope of understanding and acceptance at that stage.

This year, I discovered that guys were across the hall in my dorm.  To this day I’m not comfortable with it.

The only man I want living within that proximity to me is my husband.

I know that Virginia taxpayers are not going to be happy about one of their state schools having gender neutral housing.

Just two years ago, this commonwealth supported a ban on gay marriage by a 14+% margin.

UMW is heavily funded by taxpayer dollars and as a taxpayer I would be disgusted to know that my money funds a university that encourages students to live together in an immoral situation.

By the way, cohabitation is illegal in Virginia.  Section 18.2-345 of the code of Virginia states: “If any persons, not married to each other, lewdly and lasciviously associate and cohabit together… each of them shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.”

By allowing male and female students to live in a dorm room together, the school is allowing potentially indecent cohabitation to occur; that’s a gray, or even black, area, which this school should avoid.

I wish I could understand what makes LGBT students feel uncomfortable and unsafe about living with members of their either initial or chosen (or a combination of the two) gender.

Perhaps that would help me to see the logic behind this issue.  Until then it seems like yet another unjustified cry from this community.

Rebekah Anderson is a senior.