Written by Multimedia Editor Von Kennedy.
Imagine waking up and panicking because a class that you can’t afford to miss starts in 15 minutes.
While heading to the bathroom, you are suddenly confronted by a locked door occupied by your roommate who is singing at the top of her lungs as she applies her makeup.
This is not the way our mothers and fathers attended college in yesteryear.
Recently, students at the University of Florida have started a Change.org petition with encouragement from their department of Housing and Residence Education to pursue mixed-coed occupation of dorm rooms in their apartment style housing units.
Other prominent universities, including many Ivy League institutions, already offer mixed coed options to their students when picking roommates.
George Washington University in Washington D.C became a part of the phenomenon in 2010.
Students lobbied for the issue after a small group of students moved into an on-campus residence and successfully integrated. This prompted them to get it integrated campus-wide.
Emory University has already embraced the trend.
On the Residence Life and Housing page of Emory University website, Dobbs, Harris and Longstreet-Means Halls all offer floors strictly for mixed coed arrangements.
These floors offer no division between male and female students living on the same floor.
The most plausible issue in opposition to mixed-gender roommates is the fact that most upper class college students are not ready for the change.
Since being in dorms with people of the same sex has already been an integral part of their college experience, change would not be easily embraced.
Others that oppose may say that integrating genders as roommates will increase the rate of pregnancy, domestic violence and show that this generation of college students do not have the respect or class to room with different sexes.
We believe the increase in pregnancies will not happen because of young women and men rooming together. Most of us have roomed with people of the opposite sex under the same roof before–they were known as mom, dad, sister, brother and other family members that students have lived with throughout their lives.
Also, like same sex roommates, some roommates probably will not get along. Some will have contrasting personalities and not interact socially. This will also translate into mixed-gender roommates and create a familial bond rather than a sexual bond.
The increase in domestic violence is also a moot point when discussing this issue.
Domestic violence is usually a crime of passion between people in relationships. We believe that mixed-gender will actually create a sense of heroism and chivalry between roommates.
In college, your dorm becomes your home away from home and the people you live with become an extension of family. Therefore if you see your female roommate in a quarrel with another person, the male roommate will be more inclined to help or keep her out of danger and vice versa.
Also, if there is strife in the household, a male and female roommate would be more inclined to solve it rationally then two ego-driven males or two upset female roommates.
Finally, respect is essential for all roommates and we feel that men and women will benefit from living with each other by seeing how a male or female conducts themselves in a platonic living environment. This will benefit both genders because they will already be comfortable living with the opposite sex and everything that goes with the experience.
Though experiences may vary, college is a place to grow and experience life outside of your everyday “box” and we feel that mixed-gender dorms should be affirmed not only at the University of Florida’s campus, but also at all colleges and universities with on campus dorms nationwide.