College life isn’t what it used to be. The days of curfews and rules about visitors are long gone. So, naturally, the next step is co-ed dorm rooms, right? But it’s not so natural to everyone. With only about 50 colleges nationwide to adopt a mixed gender dorm room option, it is still in the early phases.
Students seem divided on the issue. Living with a member of the same sex can mean an awkward situation for gay, lesbian and transgender students. Schools like Rutgers University and Ohio University first initiated the experiment to give every student the most comfortable living situation possible. However, some fear it won’t be long before couples, both gay and straight, jump at the opportunity to get a taste of real life domestic living.
“I think it would be more like the show The Real World,” says Brooke Perkins, 18, a freshman at Point Park University. “I think it would be super hard to concentrate on school work while rooming with a guy because of the constant temptation.”
She’s not alone in her thoughts. Although co-ed living is catching on at schools, only about half of students polled say they would be interested in trying it.
Brad Henry, 26, graduated from Ithaca College in 2007. He came out two years later. “Some gay people might feel more comfortable living among the opposite sex,” says Henry. “Ultimately, though, college isn’t meant to be easy. It’s a time for growth.”