Kathryn Lopez of National Review Online writes aboutwhat I hope is only the beginning of a nationwide move towards single-sex residence halls on college campuses, in order to cut down on the binge drinking that leads to the drunken sex that students--usually women--often regret the next morning.
I attended college in the 1970s, when co-ed dorms were still a new (and somewhat shocking) phenomenon. I remember reading that students who shared these dorms said it was like living with a lot of brothers and sisters. But then I moved into one myself on a Christian college campus. Guys on the first floor, gals on the second and third floor.
It was NOT like living with a bunch of brothers, especially when it came to "hot" guys and girls. Residents of this dorm frequently dated one another, and it wasn't long before couples found hidden nooks and crannies in the building to be alone together. (Visiting hours on each floor were strictly limited, and room doors had to stay open if someone of the opposite sex was visiting). The fact that we had a curfew meant that you could spend a lot more time with a boyfriend or girlfriend who lived in your own dorm than one who lived elsewhere.
Now, of course, male and female students not only live on the same floors, but are even allowed, at some schools, to reside in the same room. Students at my older son's alma mater, the University of Chicago, helpfully offer an online hook-up service--one that is spreading to other colleges.
Students who want to hook up will find a way to do so, no matter the official living arrangements. But colleges are right to want to protect female students, especially freshmen, who are often viewed as prey by male students--young men whose goal is to get enough alcohol into them to remove any objections to sex with a near-stranger.
I have become deeply weary of those who claim that college students are adults and should be treated as such. The trails of vomit in residence hall bathrooms; the deaths of students who fall out of high-rise dorm windows while attempting to throw up after too much alcohol; the misery of 18-year-old girls who attend a frat house party, drink too much, and awake the next morning in a stranger's bed--these horrors suggest that adulthood has not yet been attained. If students insist on behaving stupidly, they can be stupid off campus, without the complicity of campus officials.
Vigen Guroian has a lot more to say about what he refers to as "dorm brothels" here.