Catholic U. Will Return to Single-Sex Dorms

June 14, 2011

The new president of Catholic University of America, John Garvey, announced Monday in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal that the university will move away from coeducational dormitories. When male and female students share living spaces, he said, they are more likely both to drink excessively and to engage in "hooking up." Garvey writes: "The point about sex is no surprise. The point about drinking is. I would have thought that young women would have a civilizing influence on young men. Yet the causal arrow seems to run the other way. Young women are trying to keep up — and young men are encouraging them (maybe because it facilitates hooking up)."

A blog post in The National Catholic Reporter noted that many traditionalists are praising Garvey, but the blogger was dubious. "Binge drinking and casual sex truly are problems on college campuses," writes Heidi Schlumpf. "But unless Garvey plans to return the entire university to 1950, I doubt this move will do much to curb either harmful practice. In fact, as others have pointed out, some of the worst binge drinking happens in single-sex men’s dorms, not to mention in single-sex sorority and fraternity houses. But the change will sure position CUA as a place Catholic parents can feel 'safe' sending their adult children. A brilliant PR move."

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