Our View: Gender-neutral dorms not necessary

DKS Editors

Kent State has been pondering the concept of creating gender-neutral dorms for some time now.

About 55 schools nationwide already offer coed housing, including Miami University and Oberlin College with a number of universities—most recently Ohio University—exploring and testing the option.

A gender-neutral dorm is beneficial to transgender students, as they could choose to live with a roommate of either gender, avoiding awkward residential situations. The idea of these dorms at Kent State has received overwhelming support from LGBTQ students and groups such as PRIDE! Kent.

Although most universities with this option discourage it, it could also mean that two genders regardless of sexual orientation could live together – a boyfriend and a girlfriend, for example.

Any student could choose to sign a yearlong rooming contract with their significant other, which could result in any number of complications. Breakups, lovers’ quarrels and other relationship problems could make for a steady stream of room change requests pouring into the Department of Residence Services.

An astounding number of complications could arise from the creation of a gender-neutral dorm without any restrictions or guidelines as to who could live with whom.

If a student were to cloister himself in a tiny dorm room with his nagging girlfriend/boyfriend for a semester, it’s fair to say that he would miss out on a measure of social interaction with his floor mates.

Although a gender-neutral dorm would create a safe and open environment for transgender students to live in, building one at Kent State would be a waste of resources. With only a handful of transgender students enrolled here, it doesn’t seem necessary to devote an entire space to this cause.

Students should be able to feel comfortable with their living situations, but there are other ways for the university to accomplish this. Why not just deal with these issues on case-by-case basis, allowing those who request special housing arrangements to live with someone of their preferred sex who is open to the living situation?

This would ensure that students who don’t necessarily need these accommodations wouldn’t abuse them.

It seems to be more logical and economical option. The university’s budget is stretched thin as it is. Can Kent State really afford this?

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent State editorial board.