George Washington’s Co-Ed Rooms

Students attending George Washington University will now get something else next year: the chance to live with members of the opposite sex. According to an Associated Press article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

George Washington University will for the first time allow men and women to share dorm rooms.

Gay, lesbian and transgendered students helped argue for the policy, saying that assigning students by gender was unfair. They argued many of them would be more comfortable with a roommate of the opposite sex.

I’m not entirely sure what that means—dealing with the discomfort of living with a roommate you don’t know very well is part of what the college dormitory experience is all about—but room and board at GW is now $10,120 a year. For that amount of money, it seems pretty much appropriate to demand to be able to live with whomever you want.

The coed room policy will begin all across campus next fall. The assignments will be voluntary, meaning that students will only be assigned roommates of the opposite sex if they indicate that they’re willing to have one. Students who ask for a random assignment will still be matched with someone of the same gender.

Oberlin College instituted the first co-ed dormitory in 1970. Wesleyan University has allowed for co-ed rooms since about 1995.

Approximately 50 colleges now offer gender-neutral housing.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer