The Cardinal Newman Society, a conservative Catholic organization that complains about Georgetown University a lot, recently responded to the Georgetown University Student Association’s proposal about the possibility of gender-blind housing.
The GUSA bill calls for a dialogue between members of the University community about the possibility to allow members of opposite sexes to live together.
In a blog post published yesterday, CNS claimed it is Georgetown’s responsibility as a Catholic institution to promote the virtue of chastity on campus.
“Unfortunately, many Catholic universities already have very lax, if not non-existent, male/female [visitation] policies for dorm life,” the group wrote. “Allowing ‘gender-blind’ housing would only serve to institutionalize the hook-up culture which sadly pervades much of Catholic higher education.”
Josh Mogil (SFS ’11), the GUSA senator who authored the bill, believes that CNS misunderstood the proposal.
“That organization is upset because they think we are promoting a hook-up culture, which is totally uncalled for since our conversation focuses on mostly LGBTQ students who want to live in a room where they aren’t attracted to their roommate,” Mogil wrote in an e-mail.
GUSA plans to include Campus Ministry in its conversations about gender-blind housing. Mogil also acknowledged that this proposal is not appropriate for everyone, and would not be used for all housing.
According to the National Student Genderblind Campaign, at least 54 colleges—including Harvard, Yale, and Columbia—offer gender-neutral housing options. However, none are affiliated with the Catholic Church.
Maybe CNS doesn’t have much to worry about, though. One commenter wrote, “While I don’t support gender-blind housing assignments as a default for all students, I can safely say that as a female, heterosexual Georgetown student, there’s no better way to guarantee that I won’t sleep with a man than to tell me I have to live with him.”