University Eliminated Co-Ed Housing
Special Report - December 13, 2011
The D.C. Office of Human Rights (OHR) recently dismissed a complaint that was filed against the Catholic University of America (CUA) because of its decision this past summer to eliminate co-ed housing for students on campus. On November 29, the D.C. OHR dismissed a complaint by John F. Banzhaf III, a law professor at George Washington University, charging that the change constituted “discrimination on the basis of sex.” In its decision, the D.C. OHR concluded that, “same-sex dormitories do not constitute unlawful discrimination.” Furthermore, the D.C. OHR recognized that CUA “demonstrated that its actions are not prohibited by the [District of Columbia Human Rights] Act or that as a result of the same-sex dormitories, women would not be subjected to disparate treatment.”
On December 1, in response to the D.C. OHR’s dismissal of the complaint, CUA president John Garvey issued his second editorial defending the university’s decision to return to single-sex dorms on campus. In the editorial published by the Washington Post, Garvey cited the change as “an old-fashioned remedy for two problems of growing concern on university campuses: binge drinking and hooking up.” While acknowledging that “[r]eturning to single-sex residence halls will not eliminate sex on college campuses [or] put an end to one-night stands and mistakes made in the heat of the moment,” Garvey emphasized that “social science evidence and common sense indicate it will limit the opportunity for those things” and will foster “a greater sense of mutual respect between men and women on our campus [that] will help them form the kinds of friendships that can sustain marriages and lead to real happiness.”
In June, the Wall Street Journal published another editorial by Garvey, in which he promoted the notion that “colleges and universities should concern themselves with virtue as well as intellect.” In that editorial, Garvey highlighted statistics related to the negative consequences associated with binge drinking and hooking up, as well as research “showing that students in co-ed dorms (41.5%) report weekly binge drinking more than twice as often as students in single-sex housing (17.6%) … [and] are more likely (55.7%) than students in single-sex dorms (36.8%) to have had a sexual partner in the last yearand more than twice as likely to have had three or more.”
The Catholic University of America announced its decision to begin phasing out co-ed housing for students in June 2011. The 2012 incoming freshman class will all be assigned to single-sex dorms. Each subsequent year, CUA will add an additional class’ residence halls to the list of those that will be assigned on a single-sex basis, beginning with sophomores until all student housing consists of single-sex residences.
Co-Ed Dorms Increase Risk Behaviors - November 25, 2009
Copyright © 2012. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.