Going away to college can be a very exciting, but daunting prospect. Aside from getting the classes of your choice and trying to pick a major, one of the scariest things about living away from home is having a roommate.
Choosing the perfect roommate can be tricky. Unless you’re heading to the same college as a friend, most likely you’ll be paired with someone you don’t know. For many, the thought of sharing such a small space with a stranger is alarming, not only because they don’t know each other, but also because they may be judged because of their sexuality.
Although co-ed dormitories have been commonplace at most colleges, the majority of universities still group roommates by gender. However, Rutgers thinks the change will foster a more tolerant environment for its gay, lesbian, and transgender students.
Everyone is not cool with Rutgers’ announcement, however. Some parents worry that their heterosexual kids may take advantage of the university’s new policy and will use it to shack up with their partners. But the university says that’s too bad.
Rutgers’ gender-neutral housing options will be available to all students through a lottery and parents cannot opt-out of the program for their kids if the student decides to participate in the program.
Students in gender-neutral dorms can live with their significant other or platonic friends of the opposite sex (and yes, bathrooms will also be co-ed) if they so choose.
Rutgers is not the only university to roll out such a program. The University of Maryland, Columbia University and George Washington University all have similar housing options for its students.
What do you think? Are co-ed dorm rooms a good idea? You tell us!