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Catholic University ends mixed-gender housing

c. 2011 Religion News Service

WASHINGTON (RNS) The Catholic University of America will phase out co-ed dormitories later this year, President John H. Garvey said Monday (June 13), in a bid to crack down on drinking and casual sex.

Garvey, writing in The Wall Street Journal, said the Washington school would instead assign incoming freshmen to same-sex residence halls, and do the same with sophomore halls the following year.

While the university already offers single-sex residence halls and separates dormitory floors by gender, Garvey said the decision was driven by a need to cultivate “the practice of virtue” and prevent “binge drinking and the culture of hooking up.”


Both issues, Garvey claimed, are “the two most serious ethical challenges college students face.”

Garvey cited several statistics that he claimed as evidence that male and female students who share the same living space are more likely to engage in binge drinking and casual sex.

“I would have thought that young women would have a civilizing effect on young men” he said. “Yet the causal arrow seems to run the other way. Young women are trying to keep up — and young men are encouraging them (maybe because it facilitates hooking up).”

Garvey called the new policy a “countercultural” move for the university, which was founded and sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and acknowledged that “the change will probably cost more money.”

“But,” he insisted, “our students will be better off” after the policy is implemented.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    I hope it works. I agree they are serious problems. I know binge drinking, at least, has been for decades.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Chall8987

    I just graduated from a Catholic college where all traditional residence halls (dorms and not campus apartments) are segregated by gender except for one as a type of experiment. Even though I don’t believe the segregation cuts down much on binge drinking or casual sex, I will say that after being a Resident Assistant first in a freshman male dorm and then in the mixed gender dorm, the single male dorm was a lot easier to keep control of. Constant partying was the major issue in the mixed gender dorm, so much that even week nights became the source of major issues; whereas, in single gender dorms the week nights almost never had major incidents but weekends were still bad.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment jestrfyl

    Won’t fix the problem, simply redirect it. This change may even make the problem worse by making the behaviors more tittilating. A better course would be to communicate and educate rather than dictate and stipulate. Part of the college experience is helping kids learn to become trusted adults. Can learn trust without being granted responsibility.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    It’s unrealistic to assume they did not educate or communicate, things like that are usually born out of prejudice and superiority complexes I once had a heated debate concerning placing guilt in a particular thief was the person who left the item in plain sight guilty as well as the theif. Removing temptation is a help.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Stop Whining

    Who honestly cares? It is a Catholic University, it’s conservative, you should already know this in advance. It has an 80% acceptance rate. So, for the portion of students who make up the God Squad, you should be all for this new change and have no complaints if you are saving yourselves for your blissful wedding nights. The portion of you who couldn’t get into any other schools and mommy and daddy can afford the high tuition rate of Catholic, well, you really should have no complaints or say in the matter. You should be grateful you have any dorm to sleep in.

    If it bothers you that much, switch schools. No, maybe it is not going to stop anything, so why is everyone enraged by it? Doesn’t matter if you’re in the building next door or two floors above. If anything, this will help fight obesity in America. Promiscuous students will now have to walk an extra block or two for their 2am booty calls or do the 100-yard dash to escape the wrath of DPS. If anything, President Garvey should be applauded for looking out for the health of the students.

    This also could bring romance back to campus. Oh yes, maybe students will only find the most appealing of the opposite gender worth the risk of sneaking into his or her dorm. Imagine a Romeo and Juliet type scene in Flather. But then again, a guy will do anything to get laid. I’m personally curious as to which genders will get which dorms. The brand new Opus building is still immaculate- so who gets the nice properties and who gets the shitty ones? My guess is the ladies will get the new dorms in the hopes that females are still all nurturing and kind and Mary-Mother-of-God like. Well Catholic University, if that were the case, there would not be a need for these silly new same gender dorms would there?

    Either way- get over it kids. You’re young & in college. This should not be anything to wet your pants over. Today’s kids are soft. Guarantee you anyone from the Baby Boomer generation would take your spots in a second so appreciate still being students and stop whining about who your neighbor will be.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    hey stop, thanks for the comedic relief, you say who cares and then you go on to rant on for 4 paragraphs. lol funny, who cares? obviously you.

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