University considers coed dorm rooms - Dallas News |

University considers coed dorm rooms

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If a student group gets its wish there could be male and female students living in the same dorm rooms at the University of Texas in Austin by next fall.

It's called gender inclusive house and it's more than just guys and gals living together. Proponents say it provides a safe, peaceful option for gay, lesbian and transgender students who are sometimes paired up with roommates who are not.

The university residence hall organization made up of 50 students approved the gender inclusive idea to be recommended to the board of regents.

"There isn't any other institution that's a public institution in Texas that offers this and it is more popular on the East Coast and West Coast. So it's really too early to tell where we'll be heading with this," said Hemlata Jhaveri, the director of residence life.

Some students at the UT campus in Arlington think the idea could be a good one.

"From both perspectives like a straight person living with a gay or lesbian might feel uncomfortable and vice versa. So I mean, I think it's a completely viable option," said Georgie Parker.

But some wondered if it would open up to some unintended circumstances such as a boyfriend and girlfriend living together.

"If they're gonna offer it to one group of students, they need to offer it to all students and I can understand where that could become an issue," said Shaina Jones.

Also, disabled students might benefit from the change if they have a brother or sister rooming with them as caregivers, supporters say.

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