UNC’s good call on shared dorm rooms

August 18, 2013 

First, there were coed visitations. Yes, in days of yore, the prospect that male college students might visit female dormitories and vice versa was a revolutionary and controversial idea. Then came ... gasp ... coed dorms, where women and men were in the same buildings on different floors. And then they were on the same floors. It represented a changing of the times to some but an abandonment of any semblance of parental-type supervision by colleges and universities to others.

Fortunately, the University of North Carolina Board of Governors has drawn a line at last. It has said no to an idea on the verge of implementation at UNC-Chapel Hill, the sharing of dorm suites and apartments by students of the opposite sex. Advocates for gay, lesbian and transgendered students said allowing it would protect those students from discrimination. But board members wisely decided in favor of all students, mindful that such living arrangements might prove uncomfortable for some students.

If there is a problem with harassment of gay, lesbian and transgendered students, then the university needs to address it, directly and strongly. That can be done without a change in dormitory policies.

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