The Last Word: Gender-neutral Dorms

Gender-neutral housing? Go for it!

By Christina Ramey 

I am the type of person who does not care what others are doing as long as they don’t bother me. Therefore, when I heard about a petition supporting the idea of gender-neutral housing on campus, I didn’t bat an eye.

Why should I? The choices of others are not my business, and quite frankly, no one else’s business either. If someone chooses to live on the same floor as someone of the opposite sex, then it should be allowed. It’s their choice. 

We are adults. With that being said, we should be trusted enough to know whether we want to live with the opposite sex. It may end in disaster, or it may turn out just fine, but we should be given the option to have that experience.

College is the chance to do things you’ve never done, connect with people you’ve never met, and to make mistakes. If you don’t make mistakes, you’ll never learn. By having the chance to live on the same floor as the opposite sex, you are given the chance to learn how to interact and live with them.

I know many people are worried about the potential bad things that could happen if the same sex were able to live on the same floor together and I understand. However, bad things can happen all over a college campus — not just in a dorm room. I would hope that those who choose to live on a gender-neutral floor would have respect for their neighbors. From my understanding, students would be required to apply for the specific housing, therefore, it would be their choice.

Sure, there are issues that will come up if this takes action, but it’s nothing that can’t be ironed out with a few changes here and there. Having gender-neutral housing will make people more comfortable when choosing where they want to live.

Let people make the choices that they think will benefit them the most. If they think that a gender-neutral residence hall is the place for them, let them choose to live there.

Gender-neutral housing could be a game-changer

By Matt Thomas

Let me preface this article: I am not going to allow my own personal beliefs to influence this article. Instead, I will share my perspective on this matter being a Franklin College Resident Assistant and Student Ambassador. 

I don’t see much of an issue with gender neutral housing in residence halls such as Johnson-Dietz or the Dietz Center, as most, if not all, of the rooms have their own bathrooms. In freshman residence halls such as Elsey or Hoover-Cline, however, the bathroom situation alone can pose the threat of several problems.

From an RA standpoint, I believe gender neutral housing across the entire campus can create even more challenges. Although Franklin College does not have strict guest guidelines by any means, Residence Life staff is still tries to ensure the hallways are not completely overrun by students of the opposite sex. If gender neutral housing was implemented in Elsey and Hoover-Cline, it would be much more difficult to regulate the students coming through the hallways and completely maintaining safety.

As a Student Ambassador in the Franklin College Admissions Office, I could see a campus-wide gender neutral housing agreement as a deterrent for some parents of future students. If a father of an eighteen-year-old woman learned that there was a chance that she would be sharing a hallway with other men, he may not offer his seal of approval on this school. That’s just how it is. 

No matter how someone feels on this issue, it is important to consider the variety of viewpoints and effects. While gender neutral housing could be a viable option for certain residence halls, it may not be the best idea as a campus-wide project. 

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The Franklin is the student newspaper at Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana. We publish in-depth campus news weekly.

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