Tech’s on-campus housing is used by thousands each semester, yet it provides very little in the way of options for students who wish for coed or gender-inclusive experiences. Coed housing is an area in which Tech falls behind the off-campus choices that it competes with. Neither University House nor SQ5 restrict the living circumstances based on sex. Offering a greater degree of freedom for students could only serve to improve Tech’s housing in standing among those students who are on the fence about whether to live on or off the campus. In addition to these economics-based reasons, it is worth noting that there are no University System of Georgia Board of Regents laws barring the arrangement of rooms in certain ways. Tech administration should also recognize that students living in the apartment-style dorms are most usually above the age of 18 and should be free to make their own decisions about their living situation. Besides, each student in a theoretical coed apartment would still have their own private room if that were indeed a major concern prompting hesitation. Gender-inclusive housing is already an option for second-years and beyond in special situations, but first-years who desire it are in a more difficult position. For that reason, the Technique advocates for setting aside certain floors in “Freshman Experience” dorms for occupance by those freshmen who would like to be a part of the Freshman Experience program but also opt for a gender-inclusive experience. Each of these floors should also have at least one private bathroom, an issue which would not require much change or construction as many dorms already have such a private bathroom for handicapped use. In any case, Tech can potentially attract great students with these changes, while also better accommodating current ones.
Photo by Dean Liao