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Inclusiveness? (212.4) - Mark's Journal
Inclusiveness? (212.4)
One of the things we're dealing with at work is a student-driven push to implement "gender-inclusive" housing in the campus residence halls. Most dorms are now co-ed, either separated by floor if there aren't many bathrooms, or by wing, or in some cases just room by room. Now, though, the intent would be for different-gender students to room together. The policy would be that this wasn't for romantic couples, but that would be very, very hard to police. (I'm sure there are already gay and lesbian couples shacking up in campus dorm rooms because it's easier to get away with.)

All the necessary approvals are expected, and the people behind this want it implemented pretty much immediately, to allow gender-inclusive room selection for the 2013-2014 academic year. The reason we're dealing with it is that the computer systems that handle room selection would have to be substantially revised to allow mixed genders, and we may get to explain that it just can't happen that fast.

Also, it looks as though we get to explain why at least one north campus building can't be made gender-inclusive, because by tradition, it's women only, and may have been built with an endowment or bequest that required it to stay that way in perpetuity. (We're looking into whether that's actually a requirement or really just tradition.) There's another all-women building that might be desirable to keep that way, because it's on west campus, where upperclassmen live, but that might be more malleable.

I completely get non-discrimination and the diversity and inclusiveness that that brings us, but I'm not sure how this fits into the concept of "inclusiveness." I guess "Don't limit who I can room with!" covers it?
7 comments or Leave a comment
fabunobo From: fabunobo Date: October 11th, 2012 04:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
You are correct that tons of gays couple up in dorms. I've known many guy and girl couples as such.

In reality such a perpetual designation could be challenged and revised by the attorney general. And I'd wager fairly easily since it has a gender bias. Insert any other bias into the designation and you can see the absurdity. "Only people with red hair can live in this dorm." Heh!
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: October 11th, 2012 05:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

You're probably right, but I think it's been way too important to be able to say "Yes, we have a dorm that only women live in," for that portion of womankind that likes such things.
acappellasinger From: acappellasinger Date: October 12th, 2012 12:29 am (UTC) (Link)
The hall on north campus is co-ed in summers, so if there is a bequest/endowment restriction either it only applies to academic year housing or it's being conveniently ignored for the sake of various summer programs.

I've heard the inclusiveness argument for this framed in terms of transgender students and not forcing them to choose a male or female room. Whether I believe that's what the SA had in mind when they pushed for and approved the policy is another story altogether.
adelais From: adelais Date: October 12th, 2012 12:56 am (UTC) (Link)
A (gay, male) co-worker was asking today if we thought it would be creepy if he requested a female personal trainer, on the grounds that having another man (to whom he might be attracted) touching him would be potentially much more disturbing to him. He shares an apartment with a female classmate whose boyfriend (also in my lab) has his own place elsewhere. I imagine roommate selection could work similarly.
adelais From: adelais Date: October 12th, 2012 01:00 am (UTC) (Link)
All that said, did I miss something and Cornell suddenly became a residential campus? Because unlike my alma mater, where you pretty much had to be married or have a religion that prohibited dorm rooms or some such nonsense to get permission to live off-campus, CU has plenty of alternatives for those who don't want to live with a bunch of drunk 19-year-olds ripping the sinks off the bathroom walls (a fairly regular occurrence on the men's floor of the only Kenyon freshman dorm that was still co-ed by floor rather than by hall or room, where I thankfully did not live).
fabunobo From: fabunobo Date: October 12th, 2012 10:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Good point! Don't like, 75% of CU students live off campus anyway?
ickletarakins From: ickletarakins Date: October 12th, 2012 03:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I have to say that I'm of the mindset that this is less about inclusiveness and more about people not wanting to be limited. Not that I have any issue with men and women living together, romantically or not...but like you said, there's really no way to "police" a co-ed rooming situation like this. Not only that, but a girl and a guy could move in together as friends and end up dating anyway...it's happened to plenty of people that I know ;)
7 comments or Leave a comment