Cardinal Newman Society is mad at Georgetown: GUSA edition

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.”

28 Comments on “Cardinal Newman Society is mad at Georgetown: GUSA edition

  1. The Cardinal Blowhard Society should be happy Georgetown might enact gender-blind housing. Right now, did you know Georgetown allows two HOMOSEXUAL students to live TOGETHER in sin?!?! I know nothing gets the CNS more wet with Freudian rage than the thought of gays hooking up (let alone being allowed to live openly on a Catholic school campus), so this proposed change should really be celebrated by them.

  2. Gender-blind housing ≠ hook-up culture. I would go so far as to say it discourages it.

  3. The Cardinal Newman Society is right. Kudos to them for pointing out that there really are Catholic values that a Catholic university should observe — yes, even a Jesuit university.

  4. @ Matt- first of all, your remark is HIGHLY offensive to all who hold in high regard Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, a man whose insights are sorely needed at many an institution of higher learning, including Georgetown. Secondly, has anyone considered that it would be very easy for one to lie on their housing application, state they are a homosexual untruthfully so that they can room with a member of the opposite sex? Where are the concerns for the safety of the women especially who would potentially be living in these sort of arrangements? What would be the proposed litmus test of truly being a homosexual deserving of such housing arrangement?

  5. “The article fails to even mention the fact that, as a Catholic university, Georgetown has a responsibility to promote the virtue of chastity on campus. Placing men and women together as roommates completely undermines this.”

    This is quite the tenuous link. Why couldn’t they have just said they’d prefer Georgetown indoctrinate, not accomodate gay students? That would at least be honest.

  6. @idea man

    Nothing tenuous about it. Read some of the founding documents of Georgetown, particularly Bishop John Carol’s writings. The institution was founded and thought of for a very long time for the purpose of, among other things, fostering virtue among its students. This begs the question: What is Georgetown doing today to foster virtue among its students?

  7. @Bob:

    (1) Let’s not confuse Cardinal Newman with the Cardinal Newman Society. One died in 1890, the other was founded in 1993.

    (2) I’ll let the rest of your points speak for themselves. Except, no, I’ll bite: What would your proposed litmus test to assure that someone is “truly a homosexual”? Maybe we can videotape the homosexuals hooking up and send them to you for your review? Or perhaps we just let students choose who they want to room with, regardless of gender. You still haven’t answered how Georgetown (along with almost every other school in the country) is shamefully allowing current, avowedly-practicing Homosexuals to live in the same rooms with each other, likely committing Sodomy, Buggery and other Treasons.

  8. @Bob

    Your comment raises the question: What is Georgetown doing today to foster a base level of academic rigor where students don’t misuse terms like “begs the question.” Obviously not enough if you’re a Georgetown student. Perhaps virtue shouldn’t be what Georgetown is worried about.

  9. It is disgusting that self important egoist who put this proposal forth can so flippantly invoke the tragedy in New York to promote an agenda that has everything to do with appearing tolerant rather than actually addressing issues of respect on campus.

  10. The CNS is, by and large, full of self-entitled paleoconservatives with their heads stuck in the sand, loudly proclaiming to themselves, and anyone foolish enough to listen to them, that Catholic Social Teaching only relates to topics involving genitalia. When they decide to embrace Catholicism in its entirety, I’ll start listening. I’m not holding my breath though- they’re certainly going to stand by this intellectually dishonest, broken-record shilling for the most ultra-right wing and short-sighted parts of the Church.

    Georgetown- keep helping students to become more compassionate, caring members of society, with the tools to help the world become a more just and loving place. That is real virtue.

  11. @ Bob:
    You asked, “What is Georgetown doing today to foster virtue among its students?”

    I respond: Depends on what you consider “virtue.” Georgetown does a tremendous job of promoting social justice, equality, care and concern for one’s fellow man, etc.. You know, those things that I think some guy named Jesus something talked about a couple of times when he was still doing his thing a while back.

    If your “virtues” resemble the CNS’s and are divisive, bigoted, close-minded, hate-driven nonsense, then no, Georgetown does little to foster them. I’m ok with that.

  12. im straight. Im a male. I dont participate in hook up culture. I would rather live with a girl than a boy because most of my friends are girls. I think the university should recognize that some of us males like girls as people, not as sex objects.

    I dont think any guy interested in a continual supply of sex would attempt to secure it by rooming with a girl. Thats what thirds, MSB group projects, and texting “what are you doing” at midnight on Tuesday are for.
    Unless you are really in love, sleeping in the same room as someone whose music is too loud, and who farts during the night kind of pushes sexy time out of the picture.

    I wonder if the university is afraid of sexual assault? Even for the most devote rapist, sexually assaulting your roommate= bad idea.

    Edit: maybe 1 of the 9 straight couples at georgetown would want to room together, but I doubt it.

  13. Hopefully the few men who have responded in favor of this craziness are in the very small minority of GU students.

    Fellas, have you lost your minds?!! Get a date and a life.

    Ladies and true gentleman, please set them straight.

  14. Hmmmm well I’ll let the “true gentlemen” get back to you, but in the mean time I’ll let out my straight man point of view:

    If a guy and a girl want to live together I don’t care. If you have a problem with it…guess what? YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO IT! Well actually I do have a problem. I find women so seductive, I don’t think they should get to live in the same dorms, go to the same crappy cafeteria, or heck be in our classes. In fact, let’s make Georgetown just for men. Why stop there? Let’s cover up all our women in veils and forbid them from driving! Saudi Arabia is looking better and better.

    I find it ironic all these conservatives talk about “personal freedoms,” yet seem to ignore the freedoms of people who aren’t like themselves…

    If you are mature enough to be friends with someone of the opposite gender and they consent to living with you (note: no one would be forced to do this) then you should have that choice. Welcome to the 21st century. Women aren’t men’s sex objects, some mature men (probably not Bob or RUKiddingme) can even be friends with them and not be tempted to have sex with them.

  15. Freshman gay and lesbian students are randomly assigned to rooms with one other randomly assigned student, and in all likelihood, the room consists of a heterosexual who is not sexually attracted to his or her same-sex room-mate and a gay or lesbian student who can be. This places a unique social problem onto the heterosexual student who may be tolerant but yet want his or her privacy from anyone who may develop a sexual interest in him or her. The only solution is to assign students randomly to rooms and allow the problems of mutual or one-sided attraction to be handled in the context of good faith and esprit de corps.

    Under randomly assigned rooms without regard to physical anatomy or sexual orientation, each student faces the possibility that he or she could become sexually attracted to a randomly assigned room-mate regardless of whether he or she is heterosexual or GLBTQ; each student faces the possibility that he or she will become the love interest of a person whose anatomy is not of a type that the student is attracted to; and each student faces the possibility that he or she will become the love interest of a student who is of the correct anatomy but who is unappealing for some other reason. What’s fair is what’s fair to each and all.

    Nighty-night.

  16. 1) the article does not mention issues concerning homosexuals only. This affects people. period.
    2) The article fails to mention that on-campus housing is only mandatory for 2 years (still? I think)–you can play Three’s Company junior and senior year in wonderful million-dollar homes at comparable rent prices.
    3) if Jackie and Jenny are roommates, and Jackie constantly has her male friend stay over, it can be a huge imposition on Jenny. Whether it is disrupting her studies or showers . . . or that he just eats all the food and awkwardly watches TV all day, Jenny should not have to deal with that. A study concerning whether gender-blind housing eliminates similar situations better than other solutions may be beneficial.

  17. I notice all this support for the mixed roommate idea coming from males. Ah, do you really think that many women are going to volunteer to be a roommate with one of you guys?

    Ladies – what are your thoughts?

  18. @Gentleman

    As I said in my comment on the CNS blog (thanks, Vox :), I can’t see myself wanting to hook up with a male roommate, and living with someone I was dating would be taking the relationship way farther than I’m willing to go at this point in my life. I’ve never had one, but I have had several male housemates, which isn’t the same but is close enough for these purposes, I guess. Overall, I have enjoyed it – close platonic male friends can be just as much fun to live with as close platonic female friends. I can’t see myself wanting a random male roommate as a freshman, but I might have chosen a male roommate if I had a specific friend I wanted to live with. My sister goes to Vassar, which is pretty hippy and does allow gender-blind housing, but you specifically have to say you’re okay with living with someone of the opposite gender, and apparently they grill you about it to make sure you’re sure – I don’t think that’s a bad plan. Again, I don’t think this should be forced on all students living on campus, but I don’t have a problem with making it an option.

  19. @Gentleman

    Yes, as a gay female, I would personally be considerably more comfortable sharing a room with one of my gay male friends. I think that would also be the case if I were a straight female. I think this would be particularly useful in the university apartments, since some of us are closer friends with, and would to share living space with, people of the opposite sex.

    It would certainly not be a good idea to randomly assign a roommate of the opposite sex to entering freshmen, but if it’s a personal choice that friends make after thoughtful consideration, that should be allowed.

  20. @@RUKiddingme says

    right. and making personal attacks on people you don’t agree with is very mature….

  21. Personally, I get along better with guys than girls (in general)…I’m not extremely clean and I’m more laid-back, and I find that guys also share similar interests with me and are more fun to be around (as far acquaintances go). As a person in one of the “9 straight georgetown couples” (so true, “not a roommate humper”), I feel that living with a guy (even over the summer) makes it more like what you’d experience in real life, so it’s not like I became a sinful nympho by living with my boyfriend. I have tons of male friends who I’ve gone on trips with or stayed with short term, and I would certainly have to agree with Eileen that it doesn’t make them look amazingly appealing.

    I would personally enjoy living with a guy (straight or gay, for that matter) more than a girl, and as far as I know, the colleges that do have gender-blind housing don’t assign it to freshman and make every effort to avoid couples living together.

  22. @Bob. Glad you examined the point I was making. Oh wait you didn’t.

  23. Pumphouse was great this weekend! Whichever guy bought me all those Jager shots…you have my number. CALL ME!

  24. To those students who don’t like seeing Catholic values at their school: You remind me of some of the neighborhood extremists.
    Some DC residents buy homes one block from a school that has been here for over 200 years and then complain that they don’t want to live near students. Well, not only is Georgetown a Catholic school, it has been Catholic for over 200 years, and it’s ridiculous to complain that you don’t want Catholic values to be a driving influence on policy at the school. If you didn’t want to attend a Catholic school, why did you enroll?

  25. Pingback: Vox Populi » GW to offer co-ed housing options

  26. Pingback: Vox Populi » Do Catholic universities produce better Catholics?

  27. Pingback: Vox Populi » Catholic University President tells WSJ that same-sex dorms will prevent “hooking up”

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