Old Dominion University announced last week that it will become the third university in Virginia to offer dedicated housing to LBGT students and their supporters. From the article:
Lowman said having special living quarters doesn’t mean gay and lesbian students are seeking to close themselves off from the rest of campus. Rather, he said, it will convey the message that the ODU community is open, welcoming and diverse.
I never lived in on-campus housing during my college career, having lived at home during my freshman year at Hampton, and, like most students back then, off-campus during my undergraduate years at ODU. About the closest I can come to the experience is when I first came to ODU and moved in with two roommates that I had never met before.
I learned a lot from those two women about things with which I had no experience – and not just how to shoot a beer 🙂 The college experience is about education – and that includes widening your horizons, right? So my gut reaction is that even self-selected segregation is a bad idea.
But I also know that not everyone is as comfortable with themselves as I was then. (If I had kept company with only those who were triple minorities like myself, I’d been a pretty lonely student.) And there is something to be said for the ease of being around those with whom you have something in common.
So what say you, dear reader? Do you agree with this separate space?
By the way – I think the article writer is off-base in mentioning that Duke is the only university in the Southeast – outside of those in Virginia – to offer such space. Um, the Southeast is the Bible Belt, after all.