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‘Mixed gender’ dorm arrangements coming to UALR next semester

Submitted by Pauline Mothu on March 30, 2014 – 10:36 pmNo Comment

“Starting fall 2014, the dorms of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock will be mixed-gender,” announced UALR Student Housing officials.

Indeed, UALR has decided to become one of the fifty schools in the U.S. to allow men and women college students to room together. Students of opposite sex will share eating space, study areas, laundry rooms, and in some cases, bathrooms.

UALR Student Housing officials say this arrangement is mainly designed to accommodate students who would perhaps feel more comfortable rooming with a student from the opposite sex.

This decision led to many debates on whether or not it was acceptable. While students seem relatively in favor of co-ed dorms, parents clearly are against this new arrangement.

“I do not want my daughter to live with a student from the opposite sex,” a father said. “What if something happens?”

“How come they are allowing our kids to do this,” another parent questioned.

“I am not sure it is a good thing that my daughter walks around in her underwear when her roommate is a male. She may be comfortable with it, but I am not. This is irresponsible!”

Students, on the other hand, are embracing the new policy.

“I do not see any problem sharing a room with a male friend,” a 20-year-old sophomore said, “as long as we know there will be nothing more than friendship between us. It is all about trust.”

“I have a really close friend that I consider as my brother, I will room with him next semester if he agrees” she adds.

“We are responsible enough to make our own choices,” another student said. “College is not only about going to class, it is about learning life-lessons.”

The UALR Counseling Services counselors were asked on what they thought about co-ed college dorms; they do not see any problem with this arrangement.

“Men and women often have different approaches when it comes to living arrangements, like sharing of the chores and social interactions,” one of the counselors says. “Therefore, one of the advantages of co-ed dorms is the interaction between opposite sexes.”

Indeed, this proximity between opposite sexes gives students a better view of the living habits of the opposite sex without necessarily being in a relationship with each other. This can be seen as an advantage for when students get married  and live with their spouse. Living in a co-ed dorm teaches them what to expect from the opposite sex, even though not every woman or man behaves the same.

Even though many disagree with a co-ed dorms arrangement, UALR Student Housing officials think it will be a good thing for the university. While applying for housing, students will have a new choice of rooming arrangement.

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