The Red and Black is reporting that the high-rise dorm Brumby, once a bastion for sorority girls, has been made coed. The article says that only 300 incoming women requested single-sex dorms this year. (I guess no boys requested single-sex housing but it doesn’t address that specifically.)
“Less than 300 incoming women requested single-sex housing, while almost half of freshmen requested a spot in Creswell or Russell. In addition to keeping longstanding single-sex dorm Church, UGA Housing converted Hill Community dorms Mell and Lipscomb to single-sex freshman housing. With space for nearly 500 students between them, the three halls should be more than adequate to meet single-sex demands.”
“We’re always in touch with, and keep track of, the data that supports freshman requests … we’ve trended so far downward in the past few years that it didn’t make a lot of sense to hold a 900-bed residence hall for less that 300 students,” Kowalski said. “We wanted to be able to meet student preferences … when we made three floors of Brumby male, the requests for Brumby went up to the same level or even higher as the other two.”
“While there have always been more women than men attending the University, a roughly 60 percent to 40 percent ratio, the dorms have generally been created to accommodate both sexes. Very few adjustments were required in Brumby to suit the incoming male population.”
We talked about this issue last summer as my very Catholic babysitter was assigned to a coed dorm at ASU and was not happy about it. I guess I am just truly out of touch on this issue. I lived in a single-sex dorm at Georgia all four years and think I was better off not having a boy next door or down the hall to distract me or for me to worry about.
In related news, the students at UGA have only been back a few days and a rape has already been reported down the hill in Russell, which is also coed. The Red and Black reports that the girl knew her attacker.
I was searching online to see if any studies found a correlation between coed dorms and an increase in rape or other negative behavior. I found a couple of interesting items.
One article from WAAY TV in Alabama said the University of Northern Alabama was looking at it’s coed dorm policy after police said a girl was sexually assaulted more than once in a coed dorm room. Look at the comment from the police chief in the last paragraph.
“According to University of North Alabama Police, multiple male students who lived in Rivers Hall dormitory were involved in the sexual assault of a female student who also lived in the building.
“A third person was arrested in connection with the rape Monday. UNA Police Chief Bob Pastula said the investigation is on-going, with the possibility that more arrests will be made. …
“We are not sure the order of events but she ended up in their room and was sexually assaulted more than once,” Pastula said. …
When asked if co-ed dorms makes his job more difficult. Chief Pastula said, “it definitely makes my job harder, but that is the campus policy and we live with that“.
This is obviously anecdotal and in no way proves a connection scientifically but it is something to think about.
A also found a blog “Hooking up Smart” that references an article in the Wall Street Journal written in 2011 by John Garvey, the President of The Catholic University of America. He decided to make the dorms on his campus single-sex again. Here was his argument for single-sex housing.
“To bolster his argument, President Garvey presents some not-so-fun facts about binge drinking:
- Alcohol-related accidents are the leading cause of death for young adults aged 17-24.
- Students who engage in binge drinking (about two in five) are 25 times more likely to do things like miss class, fall behind in school work, engage in unplanned sexual activity, and get in trouble with the law.
- They also cause trouble for other students, who are subjected to physical and sexual assault, suffer property damage and interrupted sleep, and end up babysitting problem drinkers.
“Hooking up has negative effects as well:
- Rates of depression reach 20% for young women who have had two or more sexual partners in the last year, almost double the rate for women who have had none.
- Sexually active young men do more poorly than abstainers in their academic work.
“Currently, more than 90% of college housing in the U.S. is coed. Garvey cites some statistics that provide a comparison to single sex dorms:
- Students in coed dorms (41.5%) report weekly binge drinking more than twice as often as students in single-sex housing (17.6%
- They are also more likely (55.7%) than students in single-sex dorms (36.8%) to have had a sexual partner in the last year—and more than twice as likely to have had three or more.”
OK so with those stats what do you think?
Are you surprised that Brumby has gone coed? Are you surprised that few girls requested single-sex housing? What do you think of the correlations between binge drinking and increase in sex partners for those living in coed dorms? Do those numbers affect your view of coed dorms at all?