A Roommate is a Roommate? — Coming Soon to a Campus Near You

A Roommate is a Roommate? — Coming Soon to a Campus Near You

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
March 26, 2010

Kayla Eland and Lindon Pronto are roommates at Pitzer College in California. They, along with students at a growing number of colleges and universities, are pioneering a new trend — co-ed roommates.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Eland and Pronto “are not a couple and neither is gay.” The paper adds, “They are just compatible roommates in a new, sometimes controversial, dormitory option known as gender-neutral housing that is gaining support at some colleges in California and across the nation.”

The rise of co-ed dorms is the inevitable result of a breakdown in all rationality about sex, gender, and sexuality. In this case, the movement is being pushed by activists who are all too clear about their agenda.

The paper reports:

Pitzer, which began its program in the fall of 2008, is among about 50 U.S. schools with the housing choice, according to Jeffrey Chang, who co-founded the National Student Genderblind Campaign in 2006 to encourage gender-mixed rooms. Participating schools include UC Riverside, UC Berkeley, Stanford, Cornell, Dartmouth, Sarah Lawrence, Haverford, Wesleyan and the University of Michigan.

The trend toward “genderblind” campus housing comes after previous acceptance of co-ed dorms, generally with separate floors for men and women. Later, students demanded integration on the same halls, but with students of the same sex sharing a room. Now, co-ed rooms and “gender-neutral” campus housing are the next, and presumably final step.

Reporter Larry Gordon explained that the emergence of mixed-gender roommates came after college and university administrators worked to meet the requests of gay, bisexual, and transgender students — some of whom preferred a roommate of the opposite gender. At Harvey Mudd College (like Pitzer, one of the Claremont Colleges), gender-neutral housing started last fall. It was intended for gay and transgender students, but other students took advantage of the option.

Parents cannot veto the decision, Harvey Mudd officials said. Students are “encouraged” to discuss the issue with family, but parents have no right to prevent their offspring from sharing a dorm room with a person of the opposite gender. Even though several of the students interviewed for the article insisted that their relationships were not sexual, administrators admitted that they would be unable to prevent roommates with a sexual relationship from living together.

Jeffrey Chang put the case in straightforward terms: “College students are adults . . . They have every single right to choose the person they feel most comfortable living with.”

Guy Gerbick, dean of residential life at Harvey Mudd College, makes the case in even stronger — and more alarming — terms. After explaining that he could not make an issue of roommates having sex, he added: “If we are going into a post-gender world, then the regulation of private behavior is just not practical.”

All of this adds up to a perfect jumble of moral confusion. Consider all that is mixed-up here. First, we have schools collapsing under the logic of gender rebellion. Instead of respecting boundaries, they remove them as a gesture of supposed tolerance and sensitivity. Second, we have students insisting that there is nothing remotely odd or sexualized about two heterosexual students of opposite genders living in the same small space. That is both unbelievable and deeply sad. Third, we have activists and administrators lecturing parents that they have no right to resist all this. When Jeffrey Chang insists that college students are adults who “have every single right to choose the person they feel most comfortable living with,” he assumes, probably rightly, that many parents will just accept that argument at face value.

This is nuts. If these students are adults with such rights, let them pay the steep bills at Harvey Mudd and Pitzer colleges. What self-respecting parent would cave to this logic, or to the lectures from college administrators that they have no right to intervene? Colleges — and college students — get away with this insanity because America has too many parents with too little sense or backbone.

To cap it all off, Dean Gerbick adds this revelatory comment: “If we are going into a post-gender world, then the regulation of private behavior is just not practical.” True enough. A post-gender world represents the eclipse of personal morality and the regulation of private behavior. In this simple sentence, Dean Gerbick reveals a total moral revolution — and he seems proud to be leading and facilitating the revolution.

The Christian worldview requires an affirmation of gender as part of God’s intention in creation and as a central aspect of the goodness of God’s design. The “genderblind” movement represents a rebellion against this central premise, and “gender-neutral” student housing is the perfect picture of this revolt against both creation and common sense.

Lindon Pronto, the young man who shares a dorm room with Kayla Eland, insists that the whole thing is no big deal. “As far as I’m concerned, a roommate is a roommate,” he said. Those words represent nothing less than a moral revolution. Is that revolution coming soon to a campus near you?


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Larry Gordon, “Mixed-Gender Dorm Rooms Are Gaining Acceptance,” The Los Angeles Times, Monday, March 15, 2010.

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

I am always glad to hear from readers. Write me using the contact form. Follow regular updates on Twitter at @albertmohler.

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