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Boys & Girls Together

Imagine for a moment that you're in a dorm bathroom, just stepping out of the shower. You adjust your towel to cover the necessary parts, and as you look up, the cutie down the hall is standing inches from you. You've lusted after your neighbor's hot body for months, and now you've finally met in the bathroom. Increasingly, schools are allowing male and female students to share bathrooms, suites, and in some cases, individual rooms. If you struggle to resist sexual urges on a club dance floor, or at a party, imagine sharing a room with someone of the opposite sex. Schools like Haverford College in Pennsylvania, Wesleyan University in Connecticut, and Hampshire College in Massachusetts have already adopted liberal housing policies, whereas Tufts University, located outside Boston, recently rejected the idea. Nick D'Avella, a senior at Haverford, says, "I've been sharing a bathroom with women since my freshman year, and now I am living in an apartment with a woman. It's so not a big deal; it's ridiculous. I'm really surprised everyone outside the college (including a bunch of alums) seem to see this as an easy way for college kids to have sex or something." Coed living forces everyone to be sensitive to hygiene and cleanliness issues, as the presence of a mere bathtub hairball can spark a bathroom war. Junior Thea Pratt at Wesleyan recalls how her dorm floor had both a coed bathroom and singlesex facilities, and boys were requested to use the urinal only in their bathroom. Some even use special signals to request privacy in the bathroom, like a secret door handle decoration or magnet. Signs are useful for reminding suitemates to remove hair from the drain, or wipe toothpaste from the sink, although they can seem immature. Haverford senior Erin Armstrong notes that some suites at her school have had locks installed, an easy way to create a sense of privacy. The obvious drawback of coed living arrangements is that some students will inevitably choose to live with a significant other, leaving residence administrators to sort out bitter breakups. Haverford junior Rob Barry thinks, "If people are stupid enough to take advantage of this freedom by living with a significant other, then frankly it's better if they make the mistake while still in college rather than out in the real world." Living with a significant other might be great at the outset, but once an argument erupts, coming home will seem like a nightmare. D'Avella knew some couples whose relationship soured midyear, and says, "Some of them deal with it fine (the breakup the actual dating isn't really a problem) and for some it's messy. You just deal with it. Kind of like if you suddenly start hating your best friend that you live with I guess...just work something out and get through the year." Unless the residential life department ships one of you out, it's probably best to just confront the situation and work out a truce. Wesleyan has a decidedly mature approach to its coed policy, essentially disclaiming responsibility for sorting out students' bad decisions. The school's residential life office says bluntly that "a male and female student can choose to live together," implying that the school really doesn't mind either way. Of course, this liberal approach is no surprise coming from the only school with an official Cunt Club. Anyone considering living in a coed room should first weigh the problems that might arise, and whether you are ready to put up with annoying bathroom or bedroom habits. Living with the opposite sex is usually great, just as long as you use some common sense. Brock McCormack lives with two women, and he loves it.
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