In today's paper, the Trinitonian covered the recent ASR proposal to create co-ed housing in Lightner Hall. Because that hall has double rooms with their own bathrooms and shared living rooms in between, this is not a radical proposal. Men and women wouldn't be in the same rooms, just the same suites. It is somewhat benign.
Residential Life has asked ASR to put a little more texture into the proposal. What are the benefits and the reasons for this? What are the drawbacks? Do some benchmarking with other schools, as was done in the Trinitonian editorial, demonstrate student interest (do some students actually oppose this?), and determine what kind of use this program would receive. These requests seem reasonable. Given that the request came just weeks before room reservation for next year this delay was probably inevitable anyway. (Weigh in on the ASR proposal in the poll at right.)
The Trinitonian dismisses our request for compelling data and details, but all good initiatives are supported this way. Sometimes change requires that people justify their reasoning (see Sophomore College).
In the end, this proposal boils down to whether or not the University wishes to stick its neck out for a program that may draw negative criticism. Guilty. Perceptions of prospective students and families (many of whom think we are already too co-ed), Trustees, donors, and the community, do matter. And ultimately the University will be asked to defend its decision. Is this a battle we want to fight? Right now we don't feel strongly enough to do so. Based on what ASR has presented so far, we are not sure the students do either.
1 I advise ASR and I do get this proposal.
2 I think the Trinitonian is fantastic and I like the work they do. I don't want to regularly get into the cycle of event-story/editorial/Dean-Blog-rebuttal. But I have done so twice this semester.
3 I don't love being accurately quoted saying "students now do this off campus. This would be fun rather than going off campus to do this, they'd do it on campus." I guess it depends what the meaning of the word "this" is.