Duke It Out: Coed Roommates

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coed roommates

[It’s pretty obvious that the average CollegeCandy reader has some very strong opinions. Opinions that she likes to share with everyone on the site. We love a strong woman, so we thought we’d give her a real forum to discuss her thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. Every Friday I’ll be featuring a hot topic (like a textbook throwdown!) and leaving it up to you, the readers, to duke it out. So, read it and get your debate on in the comments section below!]

Two weeks into the semester and most of my friends are already sick enough of their new roommates to have practically moved in with their boyfriends. All this shuffle got me to wondering – wouldn’t it be easier if they could all just live with the boys the way they almost are now?

Turns out that I’m not the only one thinking along these lines. In fact, murmurs have been floating around for the last couple of years about some schools that are not only making their dorms coed, but their dorm rooms.

That’s right, mixed gender roomies.

On the one hand, it sounds like a great idea. As much as I love my lady friends, there can be a lot of drama with two girls sharing one little space (I know friendships that have ended over clothes-borrowing debacles) and guys – in general – tend to be a bit mellower, which could be a bonus. Also, most couples I know spend most of their time at one person’s room as it is, so it just makes more sense to let them officially keep their stuff in the same place. Aside from that, most schools have already integrated to coed dorms and many even have unisex bathrooms and showers, so it seems pretty ridiculous to keep up the whole single-gender roommates idea in the face of all the rest. It’s kind of an antiquated notion, really, and some might argue gender discrimination.

In fact, at that point we reach one of the most pivotal upsides to the mixed gender roommate situation, which is that it finally addresses the LGBT issue. Traditional single-gender room assignments presuppose straightness, which just isn’t always the case. If the argument is that guys and girls shouldn’t room together because they might end up having sex, doesn’t that mean that gay guys and girls shouldn’t room with people of their own gender by the same virtue? It’s gone un-discussed in the classic college dorm model, but the truth is that there needs to be options out there for everyone and the best way to do that is to open up the field.

However, there could definitely be some problems with having mixed-gender roommates, the first and most obvious of which is that it’s a hassle. Even disregarding the inevitably huge public backlash, rooming with someone of the opposite gender opens up some problems that could end up in a lot of sudden, desperate requests for room changes. Not the least of these is the fact that living with someone is kind of a make it or break it scenario for couples – either you love it or they make you nuts and you end up breaking up. And breakups mean that someone is going to have to move, or you will have to live through each others’ attempts to move on and date other people. Oy.

Even if you aren’t dating the guy you live with, sharing all that time and space (not to mention the need to change clothes) really ups the chances of some chemistry igniting – and maybe fizzling. And if you don’t end up attracted to the guy, or vice versa, there is always the fact that some guys are messier/have different living habits and I have enough of my own shiz to clean, thankyouverymuch. Finally, though you love your guy pals, sometimes you just need a night with the girls, and girl time just doesn’t happen as easy with a guy around – straight or not.

So, am I giving everybody a fair shake here? Do you wish your school would let you do the coed roommate thing? Will they? Or do you prefer having a little girls only space? Let us know in the comments!

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