Would You Allow Your Child to Live in a Co-ed Dorm Room?

Given that I spent my entire freshman year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison holed up in a girls-only dorm affectionately (though, not accurately) known as the “Virgin Vault,” my answer to the question posed in the title of this blog would be a resounding: “HELL NO!”

But that’s just me.

After all, there’s still a good chance that my precious daughter could end up in a convent, which would make it a moot issue.

Regardless of my opinion, the subject of teens living together in the same room at college is as real as it gets for parents of students attending the University of Chicago. For the first time in the private university’s 117-year history, administrators are allowing undergraduate males and females to live together in co-ed dorm rooms.

This is a huge step for the ultra-conservative college, which up until now has only had a few dorms with co-ed floors and bathrooms. For more than a century the school has prohibited members of the opposite sex from rooming together, but that’s about to change next month.

Thanks to vocal trans-gender students, who requested gender-neutral housing because they felt uncomfortable rooming with members of the same sex, the school decided to review their long-standing policy of keeping males and females separate.

Part of the review included a pilot program, which took place last semester, and was deemed a “success.” As a result, a new co-ed room policy was given the green light and beginning next month students (save for freshmen), will get the chance to live with roommates of the opposite sex.

School administrators say the move allows students to “seek out the living arrangements that make them feel the most comfortable.”

Interestingly, no mention was made as to what the parents footing the bill for the co-ed dorm rooms would “feel the most comfortable” with.

Can you imagine paying for your daughter to shack up with her boyfriend in the same dorm room? Oh wait, I guess that happens all the time in college anyway, only it usually includes one of the parties having to take the walk of shame home in the morning.

So far, 50 University of Chicago students have signed up to take advantage of the new living arrangement.

Would you allow your college student to share a dorm room with a member of the opposite sex? Is this a disaster waiting to happen or something that should have taken place years ago?

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.