Someone you know is living in a co-ed room. Unfair? Not really. You can do it too. Co-ed rooms at Oberlin are not allowed de jure, but they are not completely disallowed either. Wink. Wink.
In other words, keep right on living the way you have been for years (months, days, etc.) and the way the College has been for years (or decades?). When were co-ed dormitories OK'd? There have been co-ed rooms since then.
President Nancy Dye says she wants to discuss the situation before deciding on something rash. She has the reputation of Oberlin in mind. Perfectly understandable. She has to make sure we don't do something so bad that no one wants to come here. So, we talk. Yes, even about something fairly inconsequential and totally nonthreatening to anyone who would want to come here anyway. Think about it. Well, whatever Dye wants to do, that's fine. We can wait.
No, really, we can. Either with officially sanctioned rooms or without them, boyfriends and girlfriends - not to mention boyfriends and boyfriends and girlfriends and girlfriends - can live together like they always have. It's not as if members of the administration are regularly walking the halls, peering through keyholes. They pretty much stay in Cox.
Anyway, discussion is probably a good way to work with the administration to create a feasible co-ed room plan. That's the way business meetings work in the real world. In the non in loco parentis-looming adult world.
Just think of the co-ed room problem as an exercise in negotiation. Negotiation involves give and take, push and pull, up and down, back and front...I think you get my point. But, if you just push, then all administration will do is push right back.
Anyway, there are bigger issues that haven't really been discussed. There are questions about the nature of gender and friendship. Interestingly, too, co-ed rooms assume heterosexuality, taking us back to the '40s and '50s and beyond. There is also the question of whether or not students are ready to make a mature decision about living with a loved one. That's not to assume we aren't, but maybe we need to prove it to the administration.
Don't discount talk so readily. Student Senate is trying to push a proposal through as quickly as possible without giving themselves and everyone else a chance to convince the administration that what they are doing is right. Given some time and thought, there is surely an argument or two that is solid enough to persuade.
In the mean time, however, you can go on living with Susie or Bob or whoever it is and when, or if, a co-ed rooms proposal is passed, you can go on living with them. You may not even realize the exact point when "hush! hush!" becomes "sign up here."
Copyright © 1996, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 124, Number 23; May 3, 1996
Contact Review webmaster with suggestions or comments at email@example.com.
Contact Review editorial staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.