UGA’s Brumby made coed: Only 300 freshmen girls asked for single-sex housing

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.)

From The Red and Black:

“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.”

UGA’s housing website says there are more than 7,000 students living in university housing.

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.

From WAAY:

“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.

From Hooking up Smart quoting The Wall Street Journal: (Wall Street Journal has a pay wall so I can’t pull directly from the Journal.)

“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?

62 comments Add your comment

Atlanta mom

August 22nd, 2013
6:52 am

For what it’s worth, I think most coed living arrangements are by floor, boys on one, girls on another.

Me

August 22nd, 2013
7:12 am

I think the prudes on here will read far more into this than perhaps exists. I had no option of coed dorms when I was in college but, trust me, it doesn’t take someone of the opposite sex to be a distraction or whatever. You “think you were better off…” but you don’t know this. And, as @Atlanta mom implies, it isn’t as if they are in the same room or even on the same floor. I also don’t think the stats are a true representation. I was sexually active in college and graduated with a 3.86 GPA and a degree in Elactrical Engineering with minors in both English and Math. And, I also drank my fair share of alcohol. I think it’s the “person” and some are simply more inclined to misbehave or whatever than others.

jct

August 22nd, 2013
7:29 am

Lived co-ed by room while I was an undergrad. The guys on my floor were very protective of the females on the floor. Yes, there were a few couples that came out of this living situation but there was an understanding about not taking sides if there was a break up.

I lived single sex for one year when I was a RA. HATED IT! I requested to be put in a co-ed dorm for my final year.

I think it has to do with your child’s level of maturity and how you raise your child. I was never distracted by the guys on my floor. I never worried about my make up or clothes. I think it made me more comfortable with myself and not putting on a show for guys.

I think if you raise you child to be independent, how to think through situations (not that they always make the ‘right’ decision). and that there are consequences for decisions they make, that they will make a better transition to college.

Helicoptering your child is a disservice. We tried to raise our son where he was allowed to make mistakes and use his judgment while he was home so that we could talk through his decisions and related consequences. It was not always easy but I think it has made him a better young adult. Now that he is out on his own, I know that he at least understands about consequences to his actions. As a parent, that is the best you can hope for.

DB

August 22nd, 2013
7:43 am

I don’t think that creating single sex dorms is going to stop kids from having sex or drinking alcohol. Just sayin’ . . .

Most “men” aren’t a distraction, and for the ones that are, well, they are a distraction whether or not they living two doors down or two floors down (In the new dorm, they were co-ed by suite. A suite was two rooms sharing a bathroom in the middle.) Were we really undistracted by men when we lived in single sex dorms? Uh — no. My daughter was in Brumby her first year, and transferred out after six weeks due to an insane roommate who kept bringing her boyfriend into the dorm for overnights — he was semi-homeless, having just gotten out of jail on drug charges . . . So much for “single-sex” dorms. When she reported it to the R.A., the roommate was basically told to “stop”, but nothing substantive was done.

The next dorm she was in was co-ed. As she commented, “they’re just guys — what’s the big deal?” She grew up in a co-ed house, sharing a bathroom with her brother. Big deal. It’s not as though the girls or the guys are suddenly in hormonal overload just at the sight of the opposite sex. The alcohol issue was a problem — but not because the dorms were co-ed, but because both girls AND guys didn’t know their limits and were fairly stupid about their intake. My daughter’s senior year, she was on Broad St., and was amused/exasperated at the rows of well-dressed, well-coiffed freshmen girls lined up on the benches, sobbing hysterically, in handcuffs, having been caught by the police their first week with fake IDs. She was the one that called me at 1 AM in the morning, worried about a roommate who was passed out on the bathroom floor after too much beer at a party. (My advice: “leave her there, she’s closer to the toilet.”)

motherjanegoose

August 22nd, 2013
8:04 am

Mine lived in Creswell and Lipscomb ( UGA) both coed, their first year. Then apartments afterwards. They were coed by floor then. Never really had any complaints from either one. Both preferred apts.

My daughter recently moved in a new apartment, in Athens. This is the FIRST complex where we actually felt comfortable with a clean college apartment when either of mine moved in. A few cobwebs in the closet but that was all! Other apartments that were supposed to be move in ready were NASTY! Her roommate’s fiance was moving into an dorm/apartment where the toilet had a black ring. While I would NOT want to clean up after those students, someone is getting paid to do it and they are not doing a good job.

Techmom

August 22nd, 2013
8:13 am

My son is in a coed dorm as well but the floors are groups (guys on 3 floors, girls on 3). He’s only been there for 2 weeks so we’ll hear the stories when he comes home for Labor Day weekend.

I think you’re seeing the growing trend of acceptance as each generation grows up. I still like the separate floors but it won’t surprise me if in 10 years, the dorms that are suit-style allow guys and girls to occupy them.

FCM

August 22nd, 2013
8:18 am

My brother was in O-House. No issues were known to be found b/c of it beind co-ed.

I would be concerned with girls yelling “assult” vs facing they had a one night stand. Not in the case of the AL person per se…but I wonder how often that does happen.

I have daughters and am sure we will face this eventually. Although, since one child would rather eat dirt than cheer UGA, I don’t think it will be over those hallowed halls. My other child will be very happy to be a Bulldog.

Techmom

August 22nd, 2013
8:36 am

I guess I should clarify that my son is not at UGA.

FCM – I’ve often wondered how many girls got too drunk to know what they were doing and then regretted it. Hopefully they don’t report it as assault but I’m quite sure it does happen.

ATL Born and Raised

August 22nd, 2013
8:39 am

I didn’t even realize single-sex dorms were still a thing at co-ed schools. Wasn’t even an option at mine, and I graduated 5 years ago. What’s the big deal?

ATL Born and Raised

August 22nd, 2013
8:41 am

@Techmom & FCM The incidence of false accusations is exceedingly rare. But 1 in 4 college women will be assaulted. I would be more worried about my daughters actually being assaulted than my sons being falsely accused.

Techmom

August 22nd, 2013
9:00 am

@ATL I find 1 in 4 really high, where did you hear that? I’m not saying that it doesn’t happen but 25%?? That’s epidemic proportions.

usually lurking

August 22nd, 2013
9:03 am

My oldest son was in a co-ed dorm last year, and this year shares an apartment with a girl he’s been friends with since 6th grade. Just not a big deal. And by the way, he considers the girls who are worried about their hair and makeup way too needy and high maintenance to bother with.

FCM

August 22nd, 2013
9:08 am

@ ATL Born and Raised, trust me I am worried about my daughters being assulted, abducted or worse. I just would like to know the study on “crying wolf”.

My brother did say several women at O-House said they felt “safer” knowing there was a male nearby incase they needed assistance “getting rid of an unwanted suitor.”

MJG…your kids were at UGA. What say you?

Ikon

August 22nd, 2013
9:09 am

Young men and women undressed & showered together, side-by-side on Battlestar Galactica without any problems.

Of course, Battlestar Galactica didn’t even have a fraction of the alcohol they have in Athens…

m

August 22nd, 2013
9:11 am

Answers in order for your questions..

No
No
Abject lie used to promote silly religious agenda.
No.

Mayhem

August 22nd, 2013
9:23 am

We had co-Ed dorms back when I was in college, in the late 70’s.

My middle child was in a co-Ed dorm both years she was away at school. She made seversl life long male friends there.

No biggie.

motherjanegoose

August 22nd, 2013
9:31 am

@ FCM…yes. Did you not know this? Daughter is still there. Son went for undergrad.
We have 23 “kids” on our street who attend or are still in college. Eight for UGA. Three for Tech.
The rest are at various other colleges. They all grew up together and it is fun to see where they ended up. I am proud of them!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 22nd, 2013
9:37 am

We should definitely do as the crew of the Battlestar Galactica! No doubt!

jarvis

August 22nd, 2013
10:18 am

I think the stats are biased. If only 300 of the thousands of girls living on campus requested a same-sex dorm, you’re talking about the prudest of the prudes. It would make sense that these are the ones not partying and concentrating more on their work.

Seems like correlation rather than causation.

Blessed

August 22nd, 2013
10:18 am

My daughter started at UGA this Fall and was proud to let me know that Brumby was going to be coed this year. It was my first choice for her, but I knew she wasn’t going for it.

jarvis

August 22nd, 2013
10:22 am

1 in 4 women are assaulted? That’s absurd. I’m not sure I’d believe 1 in 10.
I’m defintely going to need to see the data on that.

FCM

August 22nd, 2013
10:37 am

@ MJG I do know that one is at UGA the other is now alumnae status (WOOT for him!). I just wonder what opionion you have with the co-ed vs single gender dorms.

BehindEnemyLines

August 22nd, 2013
10:44 am

“jarvis” hit my thought exactly on that figures. Correlation is apparent, causation seems pretty dubious.

Techmom

August 22nd, 2013
10:45 am

@MJG – we all know your kids went to UGA including FCM – she was asking what you thought about the assault rates. Do you think it’s that prevalent?

motherjanegoose

August 22nd, 2013
11:00 am

@ FCM and Techmom…sorry, I am doing several things at once and really do not know. Neither of mine mentioned it for themselves or with any close friends. I have heard lots of stories of students doing things that “Grandma would not like to read on the front page of the newspaper” but my son managed without a problem and I feel my daughter will too. This is her 3rd year in an apt. Her room mates’ parents had to be convinced to let them move out of the dorm, as they thought the dorms were safer. My daughter prefers apt. living. I once spent the night at her previous apt. and it was pretty quiet.

I think it depends on your peers/neighbors. If you live in an apartment, you can check things out easier than you can in the dorm BEFORE YOU MOVE IN.

I just read about a short sale 3 bdr/2 ba sale condo that is near our house, in another neighborhood. We drove over there last night and it looked nice. The price was $119,000. WOW. I think about $60,000 less that what it went for when built 5 years ago. I would like to sell this house and move over there. BUT I am not sure how quiet it would be to have someone right on the other side of the wall. Our block is very quiet, even though there were PLENTY of kids who grew up here. We parents knew each other and tried to reign it in !

UGA Grad

August 22nd, 2013
11:14 am

I lived in O-House (co-ed by suite, so men and women are on the same floor). As a woman, I felt safer, I had plenty of escorts to go run late night errands or walk me out to my car when it was late. Honestly, one of my two best friends from college is a guy that lived on my floor. We never dated (or anything!) but he’s an awesome guy and we’ve kept in touch for 15 years now.

I couldn’t believe that anyone would WANT to live in a single sex dorm. I don’t get along well with most women (too silly/shallow/etc). I was thrilled that I got to live in O-house when I was at UGA.

iRun

August 22nd, 2013
11:23 am

So, this isn’t as far back as Mayem but my sister, who is 41, lived in a co-ed dorm. This would be the early 90s. She graduated from high school in 89. And it was by floor and she said it wasn’t ever a problem.

Disorderly Conduct?

August 22nd, 2013
11:35 am

Well … sometimes awful but isolated incidents happen when boys and girls go to college. Years later they end up just being funny stories. Blessings.

http://actionjacksonart.squarespace.com/dc/

Techmom

August 22nd, 2013
12:30 pm

@UGA Grad – same here; I would never have wanted to live in a all-girls’ dorm either (tho I never lived in the dorms) my roommates were always guys.

@MJG – I think once you’re used to living in a house, anything else is quite a change. We have a big house and now that our son is gone, we’re trying to figure out if we want to stay in it. My husband and I both work from home so to a certain extent, it’s nice to have the extra space so we aren’t having to actually share a workspace (it’s hard enough just being in the same house). I don’t think I’d consider moving into a condo or townhouse though… just a bit too close for my comfort.

HB

August 22nd, 2013
12:34 pm

Way back when I was in school in the 90s, my college offered one all-girls building, but the rest of the non-suites were either single-sex by floor or hallway (upperclassmen suites were single sex by suite). All floors, halls, and buildings allowed 24-hour coed visitation, so there was always the possibility of someone of the opposite sex being on the hall. So yeah, Theresa, you are pretty far behind the times…

As for the stats, correlation does not equal causation. Women with more sexual partners had higher rates of depression. Ok, but that does not mean the number of partners caused the depression. It could be for some that mental health issues/depression led to the choice to have more partners. Kids in coed dorms had higher rates of binge drinking. Again, that doesn’t mean the coed dorms led to the binge drinking. If a choice is offered, students choosing the more traditional route of single sex dorms, may also be less likely to be big party-ers. If that choice is not offered and they are placed in coed dorms, I doubt that will cause them to binge drink.

ATL Born and Raised

August 22nd, 2013
12:37 pm

Those articles were pulled the first results page of a quick Google search. But there are peer-reviewed studies out there about the prevalence of this. Google scholar would be a good place to look. My law school had a rape crisis and domestic assault clinic I worked in. It was unreal.

Sk8ing Momma

August 22nd, 2013
12:51 pm

I’m old school…I think freshman should live in single sex dorms. I’m fine with co-ed dorms for upper classmen.

I lived in both when I was in college in the mid to late 80s, all-girls dorm freshman year and co-ed (both sexes on the same floor) my sophomore year. Both were great experiences. It’s funny…looking back, I have more fond memories from my freshman living experience than I do my sophomore year. I can barely remember living with the opposite sex. That tells you how much I thought about the guys on my floor. LOL! Apparently living with them was no big deal.

lakerat

August 22nd, 2013
1:04 pm

As some may remember, my oldest son went to UGA and lived in O house as a freshman – we knew it was coed, as did he, before we got there, yet we were somewhat surprised to learn that 1) he was paired with 5th year senior student as his roommate; and 2) that the coed part was by suite (male/male in two rooms with a shared bath, with female/female next door, sharing another bath).

All is well that ends well, however – son graduated on time and under budget, though he did live in an apt the last 3 years( and all of the apts. were spotless when he moved in, but not so much when they moved out).

motherjanegoose

August 22nd, 2013
1:57 pm

@lakerat…maybe mine moved in to the apartment yours moved out of? HAHA!

I have heard this same story from friends whose kids are in college in other states. Not sure what is going on!

HB

August 22nd, 2013
2:06 pm

Were suites ever single-sex by building or floor? I don’t really see the point of that. If the suite is single sex and students aren’t sharing a hall bathroom, why would it matter who is in the suite next door?

lakerat

August 22nd, 2013
2:52 pm

Nah – they had to forfeit their deposit so the places could be re-painted, re-carpeted, and fumigated – LOL.

UGA Grad

August 22nd, 2013
3:09 pm

HB – the suites in O-House were co-ed by suite – so a suite of girls could easily live next to a suite of guys. (A suite was two bedrooms with a bathroom in the middle). It was definitely not segregated by floors (i.e. boys on 1, girls on 2).

HB

August 22nd, 2013
3:31 pm

Yeah, I remember from when my friends lived there. I was just wondering if it was ever common for suites to be separated by floor or building since lakerat said she was surprised that they were only single-sex by suite O-House.

catlady

August 22nd, 2013
3:41 pm

They are young WOMEN, Theresa, not girls.

I lived in a coed dorm in my first year, 1970. No big deal.

catlady

August 22nd, 2013
3:48 pm

As to the “studies,” you must remember the effects of self selection! Not causality!

catlady

August 22nd, 2013
3:49 pm

You notice I did not correct the label of “boys” for the males. Many of them ARE largely boys in a candy store.

Denise

August 22nd, 2013
4:35 pm

I went to Spelman (all girls) for 3 years so I didn’t have this to deal with but I will say that having Morehouse across the street was a pleasant enough break from the norm. We could have visitation but not overnight. Actually never past 11. That was fine with me because I didn’t feel comfortable changing in front of my roommate’s boyfriend and he was there EVERY night it seemed! I was rather conservative then so I don’t know how much I would have wanted to be in my towel going to and from the bathroom with men on the hall so I would have preferred the halls at least be single-sex if the dorm was coed. We had to announce “man on the hall” when we brought visitors up so as not to catch our hallmates unawares. We were real “progressive” though….we could shut our doors! (Don’t laugh…at one time they couldn’t shut the doors with men in the room.) Now I think men can stay until 2 AM on the weekends.

I agree that having a man to walk with at night would be a bonus to having coed dorms. We had to call our Morehouse friends to walk with us. It wasn’t a big deal but having someone on the next floor would have been a lot more convenient.

FLNavyWife

August 22nd, 2013
7:49 pm

My freshman year at the University of Florida, I lived in a co-ed dorm. It was set up in suites (as earlier posters have mentioned)…two bedrooms connected by a bath (2 students/bedroom). So our floor was an equal mix of guys and girls. Having not grown up with brothers, I thought it was kind of fun living around guys. That year definitely made me more comfortable with the opposite sex–guys seemed a lot less mysterious after that!

I don’t remember a lot of drama or coupling-up…I’m sure it happened but there was nothing major during my time there. In fact, the biggest “scandal” happened when I was locked out of my own room in the middle of the night by my lesbian roommate and her girlfriend. The girlfriend stayed over constantly, but the RA couldn’t do anything to prohibit it because she was same-sex (it would have been different/easier if it had been a boy spending the night!) After that year, I vowed I would never have another “random” roommate!

another comment

August 22nd, 2013
9:06 pm

Ironically, I went to the Catholic University of America, which was quoted as going back to single sex. I never knew it went to single sex. I went from 1978-1982. One of my gay male friends, who was the first guy to publically come out, told me recently that so many of the guys were exploring their sexuality and screwing each other on the send floor of Flather, an all boys door next to Regan and Ryan the girls dorm. I was really shocked when he told me how promiscuous the guys were with each other. I was an Architecture Major, so I knew a lot of the guys were gay. I also knew that several of them were going down to George town or Capital Hill on the Weekends. I also knew that some of the fake girlfriends were guys. I remember when my girl friends and I accidentally walked in to a Gay bar in Georgetown and saw Bill one of our classmates. He sure did hustle us out quickly and said he made the same mistake and went in the wrong bar too.

Now the funny part is that CUA is tearing down two of the dorms that were built in the 1970’s. Just happens to be the Dorm that Brian Willams the NBC anchor lived in. Ed Gillespie the Former RNC head also lived in this dorm. No one wants to live in the Cinder block wall dorms anymore. To down they go. They are keeping the doors that are 100 years old and built in the 20-s and 30’s.

SEE

August 23rd, 2013
5:01 am

catlady, take your sexism somewhere else. As a high school teacher, I work with both boys and girls. My “boys” show a lot more maturity than my “girls”.

Mother of 2

August 23rd, 2013
6:45 am

My mother insisted that I live in a single sex dorm my freshman year. I transferred to coed after the first year and stayed coed until graduation. The single sex dorm was, by far, the cleanest. The maintenance staff truly liked the girls and were very helpful. My coed experience was definitely more reality based. I found that there really wasn’t much difference in behavior in both types of dorms. I simply liked living with both males and females. Life is coed.

catlady

August 23rd, 2013
6:52 am

SEE, this reminds me a bit of a quote from Dan McGill,the long-time men’s tennis coach at UGA. When the new tennis complex,was,finished, he wanted it for the exclusive use of the,men’s team, saying,the “girls” team could use the old facility. This was in about 1990-1994!

Grasshopper

August 23rd, 2013
8:08 am

Freshmen boys say: “Hurrah!”

Devil's Advocate

August 23rd, 2013
10:01 am

O’House was good times. Great people, interesting experiences, and it wasn’t like the movie Spring Breakers every weekend.

Safety is an issue everywhere, not just in your room.

BB9

August 23rd, 2013
12:10 pm

I was in Russell as a freshman in 2005. Each floor has three wings and on each floor two of the wings were female and one was male. Bathroom’s were coed, too. It just wasn’t a big deal. Everyone knows everyone on each floor and with roomates + hallmates around we just never had a problem with assaults. Someone in an above post said that the guys were protective of the girls – I thought the same.

As for Brumby being all-female, it’s right next to Russell and Creswell. It’s easy as anything to get into the other dorms and visit, Brumy girls were always in Russell to visit if they wanted to be.