To Editor-in-Chief for The Signal:
Many students aiming to explore their sexuality and new relationships would jump at the opportunity to spend their time on campus in a co-ed dormitory. After having lived in an on-campus residence hall myself as well as being in a relationship at the time, the excitement for co-ed living situations at Georgia State University needs to be reeled back, and rules need to be outlined and clearly defined by the administration.
From my personal experience as a GSU resident, it is a difficult process to move out of your current dormitory into a different one, regardless if it is due to a simple dislike for your roommate(s) or a more severe situation. Should a couple look towards campus housing as a way of living together, would the university develop a system for placing students in different dormitories should the relationship sour, or would the two have to live under bitter and potentially hostile circumstances for the rest of the semester?
For more severe situations, sexual assault is a prevalent issue in universities nationwide, and GSU is no stranger to this growing problem. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, there were 19 reported rapes, attempted rapes and sodomies at the campus from 2010 to 2014. While the number is not as high as other universities in the state, co-ed living arrangements could potentially add fuel to the fire if the issue is not properly addressed and preventative measures aren’t in place.
This new policy, which is planned to be initiated in the Fall 2015 semester, can be a positive, socially liberal and inclusive change for the university, but rules and programs must be defined and kick-started to make the policy fruitful and helpful towards its students.