The president of Catholic University announced yesterday in this Wall Street Journal piece that, starting next Fall, his school would begin a phased return to single-sex dorms for undergraduates.
Not surprisngly, there's been no lack of snide commentary about prudery, bluestockings, a return to the 1950s, etc., etc., etc. That wasn't unexpected.
But as a father with a son about to head off to college, and with a daughter who became disillusioned with the coed dorm experience in her own undergraduate years, I've never understood what the rationale for sexually mixed dorms could be. There are things that you might ultimately disagree with, but can nevertheless see the logic of the supporting argument. That's never been the case for me on this one. I've been told variously that it "breaks down barriers" or that it prepares students for living in the adult world, but I've always walked away puzzled. Where in the real world do men and women, outside of intimate family circumstances, walk around in close quarters in their skivvies? They don't do it where I work. Can someone help me here?
I'm speaking for myself, and I'll probably get some stick for this post, but I have to say that president Garvey's decision seems like common sense to me.