The university announced the decision to parents in a letter that was sent in mid-December. The change in boarding rules will allow students of the opposite sex to reside in the same room, and the school says the decision was born from a student-led initiative. Students who wish to have a coed roommate will not need parental consent.
Laurie Higgins, the director of the division of school advocacy with the Illinois Family Institute, calls the decision troubling, but not surprising. “I think it reflects a number of troubling assumptions: One is that sex differences are irrelevant, that modesty is irrelevant — and modesty is not equivalent to prudery — that parental values and beliefs are irrelevant,” she notes.