It seems like college housing departments are talking a lot about sex lately: "Gender-neutral" dorms are all the rage, the number of single-sex dorms is dwindling and sexiles everywhere continue to suffer.
Some Google News headlines that caught my eye:
"Behind closed doors: Students struggle with sexiling as officials try to reach out"
The Diamondback, the student newspaper at the University of Maryland, shares the story of a student who was "sexiled" last semester: She returned home from a concert to find a Post-it note on her door, warning her not to enter. While the university has some policies in place to help roommates navigate awkward situations such as that one, most students choose not to use them... because that would be more awkward.
"College campuses embrace coed dorm rooms"
The Philadelphia Inquirer posted a story yesterday about coed dorm rooms, which are offered at more than 50 colleges. Starting this fall, at least 17 more campuses (including Princeton, Yale and the University of Vermont) will try it, too. The topic is commonly brought up on campus tours.
While gender-neutral housing often starts as a GLBT issue, the paper reports that "removing gender restrictions in dorm rooms has also found wide appeal among heterosexual students, who are thinking about gender relations - and friendship - in new ways."
And some headlines from the archives:
"Shall Boys Live with Girls? Gender-Neutral Housing and the Evolution of Dorm Living"
Earlier this year Politics Daily published a column by a student at Bowdoin College in Maine, who wrote about how offering gender-neutral rooms should not be such a bureaucratic, political process. "It's a natural thing to live with those with whom you feel most comfortable - those with whom you identify and relate - and, in most cases, university housing systems respect that," wrote Willy Hameline.
"Gender-neutral housing attracts 82 students"
The Daily Orange, the student newspaper at Syracuse University, has been reporting on the housing selection process for this fall -- the first time students can opt to live with anyone they want, regardless of gender. The housing director said 82 students signed up, which wasn't above or below expectations. She also told the paper that students aged 18 to 24 are four times more likely than those over 55 to have a best friend of the opposite gender.