Boston University recently joined Harvard University and Sarah Lawrence College on a list of schools that offer gender-neutral housing. Gender-neutral housing is a policy designed to allow students to live together regardless of sex. Unsurprisingly, two BU sophomores have decided to take their relationship to the next level and move in together.
Boston College students will likely never have the opportunity to experience gender-neutral housing due to the school’s Jesuit Catholic values, but I don’t think that we are missing out on much. We all know couples that blatantly disregard the rule prohibiting cohabitation, and there is definitely no shortage of exasperated roommates around campus who just want to go to bed. The only thing that gender-neutral housing really changes is the ability for a clean break-up.
Of course, not every single mixed-sex pair would be a couple, but why even run the risk? I desperately hope that the administration is smart enough to prevent gender-neutral housing, because the RAs have enough roommate issues to deal with without coming between a lover’s quarrel and awkward post-breakup drama.
Even if the couple doesn’t break up, how does living together work? Do they push the beds together or stay on opposite sides of the room like the cellmates they are? Do they opt to share a twin XL and toss the other bed out to make more room for activities? It’s confusing. When did we make the leap from keeping a toothbrush at our significant other’s place to sharing closet space?
There is a reason that a lot of actual, real-life couples decide to move in together before getting engaged or married, and that reason is most likely to test their living compatibility. There is a vast difference between the maturity levels of 18 year-old college freshmen and 25 year-old working adults, and allowing college students to live together will only increase the number of immature, overblown relationship arguments. Plus, if a college-aged couple genuinely believes that they will get married after college, then they have the rest of their lives to live together. Why rush it?
Not to mention, boys smell. It’s just a fact. And a girl who wants to shack up with her boyfriend before graduation is going to deeply regret her decision once her living space smells like sweat and Subway sandwiches.
It goes without saying that girls have a lot of stuff, and there just isn’t enough room in the bathroom for a boy to keep his weird shaving kit and Dove Care for Men. We shouldn’t have to keep explaining that we have our face things and our hair things and we need every single one of them and please stop using my face cream on your hands.
Any chance of privacy is also out the door once couples start living together. The whole “why does she always smell so good/look so nice/have such smooth skin” mystery is solved. She wears perfume, puts on makeup and she moisturizes with exactly seven different products. Living together can not only sabotage a relationship but also ruin the mystery of the opposite sex forever. It’s just not right.
Gender-neutral housing might work for some couples, but I just don’t see how it is a good idea. There are too many flighty, immature couples that will abuse the opportunity to live together and then regret it and break up. This might deprive genuine boy-girl friendships from an enjoyable year as roommates, but we all have to make sacrifices. Unfortunately, there can’t be an exclusive option for male-female best friends, but real best friends would hang out 24/7 anyway. If he or she is not worth the walk to his separate dorm room, then maybe the friendship isn’t so great after all. Just buy a cot or a Lovesac or something.