Two GW students are trying to get the American Civil Liberties Union into their corner as they gear up for a battle with the University over its housing policies. The University prohibits cohabitation – opposite-sex roommates – in its residence halls. The two freshmen are against the policy and want to see it changed. While it is refreshing to see students care enough to stand up against what they believe to be an injustice, perhaps they should choose their battles. The University should retain its policy against coed rooms.
Living in a university’s residence halls is not a right. A private university makes rules it deems appropriate to protect its students’ well-being and living conditions. While it may seem that some rules baby students, students and their parents would be outraged if those policies did not exist.
If a large number of students were clamoring for coed rooms on campus, the two students might have a better case. What if the University did allow cohabitation, and a couple lived together in a residence hall? What would happen if the students went their separate ways? Would the University have to find them two separate rooms? Who would stay and who would leave?
If students insist on living together, why not move off campus? Some schools – including Connecticut’s Wesleyan University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – allow students to live in mixed-sex housing. But until more GW students make it clear that coed housing is a significant issue, the University’s policies should stand. Two students are fighting an admirable battle, but they don’t have much of a case.