The USF Residence Hall Association made a good move Jan. 28 when it voted to support a proposal for coed dorm rooms. Many universities in the nation are making or have made a similar move, thus reflecting both a change in times and a development of more social skills and interactions between genders. Hopefully, Tom Kane, director for Resident Services, will acknowledge the need of such housing and approve the proposal.
Two years ago, a proposal was submitted to include coed apartments in the new Holly facility, but the proposal failed. However, this year, RHA president Andy Festa, also the online editor for The Oracle, readdressed the coed issue and thought it was a good time to try for its approval again. The proposal was passed 30-1 with only five abstentions.
If the proposal is approved, it could attract more couples who find themselves moving off campus in order to live together. Coed living will not be available to all students. For instance, students will be required to have lived on campus at least one year to be eligible for coed living. Though students of the opposite gender won’t be sharing the same room, they will be sharing a living space that connects the two rooms, much like a living room. Such a situation could make younger students, freshmen especially, uneasy, making the one-year-on-campus rule a good one.
The step toward coed housing reflects changes in the university environment by addressing the fact that more may want to live with their significant others. It also shows an effort to compete with off-campus housing alternatives by offering a more “real world” environment where students of opposite genders can live with and learn from each other.
Hopefully, USF will continue moving toward a more flexible housing environment, and perhaps moves such as offering coed housing will cultivate a more active on-campus community, which has been lacking in past years.