Rutgers University to Allow Co-Ed Dorm Rooms - FamilyEducation

Rutgers University to Allow Co-Ed Dorm Rooms

March 08,2011
Lindsay Hutton

Beginning this fall, Rutgers University will allow male and female students to live in the same dorm room. The basis for this pilot program is to help the university's gay and transgender population feel more welcome and comfortable.

The program is open to sophomores and upperclassmen. More than 100 students living in three dormitories will have the option of choosing a roommate of the opposite sex through the college's lottery system, along with sharing gender-neutral bathrooms and facilities.

Parent's of the selected students will not have the option of vetoing their child's roommate selection.

This new option is called "gender-neutral" housing and was created at the request of gay, lesbian, and trangender students who disagreed with the university's policy of requiring roommates of the same sex.

Although this request has long been on the table with no success, university officials recently reopened the idea following the high-profile suicide of freshmen Tyler Clementi, who jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his roommates used a webcam to film his inimate encounter with another man.

Although the reason behind Clementi's death isn't certain, it did prompt officials to take a closer look at how gay students are treated on campus.

Rutgers isn't the first campus to offer gender-neutral housing-- Columbia University, George Washington University, Emory University, Ohio University and Ramapo College in Mahwah already offer this option.

How do you feel about this new pilot program? And do you think parents should have the option of vetoing their child's choice?