Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Co-ed Dorms A Bad Idea

The University of Chicago has recently announced its intention of offering co-ed dorm rooms, joining an ever-growing list of colleges and universities that offer these problematic living arrangements. It may appear more "normal" if this was a concession to already-cohabiting couples who were seeking to live on-campus, but the perception given by a recent article indicates that the living arrangements would be for any students whether attached or unattached. Who thought this would be a good idea?

This type of living arrangement forces sexual tension. There are no spaces that are private in a dorm room, and instances of nudity/undress is a fact of life in a person's bedroom space. Beside nudity is the tension of being around a person of the opposite sex all the time, including those difficult hours of the night that I am sure all readers can identify with. Thus co-ed dorms not only force sexual tension, but give easy access to sex at any point. This facilitates sexual experimentation.

As a means of illustration, I once visited a college campus which I will not name that had co-ed floors (rather than rooms), but also had co-ed bathrooms. None of the showers, which could be seen from the hallway, had curtains. This forced men and women to shower publicly. There was no need for pornography for these students, and there was no mystery left for the "innocent." Sexuality was on display for all. To think that this situation could occur without resulting in sexual experimentation, or even instances of rape, is absurd.

Another problem with this program of co-ed living is that parental consent is not required, and worse, parental objection is not heeded by the University. Parents who have saved to send their children to college to provide them with an education, expecting them to be studying, may be forced to watch their children "shack-up" with some random room-mate.

Add to this situation the current, secularized, anti-Christian mindset of our universities, and you get an institution that rips Christian kids away from their moral and familial moorings with a world of temptation and skepticism. Our societal moral revolution is almost complete.

It is obvious that this is merely another step in a long campaign to empty our universities of all Christian tradition or morality. The new morality is that of self-worship.

If Conservative and Christian parents want what is best for their children, there are still a few routes they can take. They could send their children to schools that will not allow co-ed dorms or cohabitation. They can spend more time with their children in the junior high and high school years, instilling values to help their children navigate the university without falling prey to the ubiquitous temptations (still a big risk). They can get their children involved with Christian groups like Navigators, Campus Crusade, and Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship. These groups are oases in deserts of debauchery, but they still do not ensure moral action on the part of the young student.

There is a battle being waged for the hearts and minds of the worlds people, and it starts with children. It is a battle that Christians are losing. Our culture proves that out. Every time you shake your head at something that shouldn't be, or something that "wouldn't have happened thirty years ago," you are seeing the evidence of a moral slide in our culture. How do we stop it? By living consistently moral lives (preferably Biblically moral lives) ourselves and instilling those morals in our children. We should not merely look for teachable moments (though that's better than nothing), we must make teachable moments and reiterate them constantly through questions, conversations, parent-child time, special events, and by living consistently as a witness to them. These things will not ensure that children will always make the right decisions, and we cannot completely shield them from the surrounding culture. But we can show them that there is something better and more fulfilling than living for self, and that there is purpose to life.

The University of Chicago Faculty should be ashamed of this new policy, but they won't be. They are acting consistently with their worldview. There is pride and hubris in pushing boundaries, and that is the legacy they want to bestow upon your children.

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