Despite Single-Sex Dorms, Students at Christian University Still Drinking, Having Sex

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By Ray Downs, Christian Post Reporter
October 31, 2011|3:40 pm

Students at a Christian university that recently eliminated co-ed dorms in favor of single-sex dorms in order to decrease the amount of sex and drinking happening on campus, say the new policy is not working, with some students claiming the new housing policy might have even made things worse.

In a report by the education news website, InsideHigherEd.com, students at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. were asked if they believed the new single-sex dorms were effective at curbing sex and drinking at the school.

"If you're going to hook up, you are going to hook up no matter if you live in a same-sex dorm room or on the floor below you," said Liam Crowley, a media studies major.

Crowley added that his male friends act "crazier" around females because of the sexual segregation.

The student government association at the school is planning to hold a vote that will address the concerns of students. The vote, however, is not binding and will not necessarily have an effect on changing school policies.

Despite half of the student population being unhappy with the sexual segregation policy, Catholic University is also facing a lawsuit for separating the boys from the girls.

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According to an earlier article by Inside Higher Ed, John F. Banzhaf, a law professor at George Washington University, said the school's policy violates the District of Columbia's Human Rights Act, which "prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and commercial space, and public accommodations on the basis of sex and other factors like race, religion and marital status."

Banzhaf said separating sexes is no different from separating races, likening the no co-ed policy to the "separate but equal" doctrine which gave rise to Jim Crow laws and was eventually ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Suppose a university decided that there would be less racial tension if all the blacks were in a black dorm, all the whites were in a white dorm," Banzhaf said. "Each one is, quote, getting their own dormitory, and maybe some of them would be happier that way. But surely no one would suggest that it's lawful."

Catholic University president John Garvey said the decision to eliminate co-ed dorms was to improve the "virtue" of the students.

"Aristotle suggests, in the Nichomachean Ethics, that you need to live a virtuous life to point you in the right direction," Garvey wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece in June, shortly after the school announced its new policy. Although Garvey admitted that the policy would be considered "old-fashioned," he considered it "counter-cultural" in its intention.

"I think it's counter-cultural for a university to say that it's part of our business to concern ourselves with the development of our students in the practice of virtue, as well as in their intellectual faculties," he wrote.

Students still disagree.

"If you have to separate people to prevent that then what are you saying about those people?" said Melissa Reid, a freshman living in an all-female dorm at the school.

"If people want to have sex they are going to have sex," she said.

 

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