Michael Komo, a George Washington University senior, led
the campaign for gender-neutral housing at the school. The university will allow opposite-sex roommates in undergraduate dorms starting next fall.
By Jessica Gould
Colleges across the country are adopting gender-neutral housing polices. Now George Washington University is joining the movement.
The university's director of housing, Seth Weinshel, says the school is simply responding to student demand.
"It came down to...students wanting to be able to live with who they want to live with," he says.
University senior Michael Komo has been lobbying for opposite-sex roommates for years. He says the policy change is particularly important for the school's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students.
"Especially with the recent tragedies this fall that we've seen across the nation with intolerance, discrimination and suicide. I think it's very important that an LGBT person is rooming with someone who they know, who is comfortable with their sexuality, to make sure that they're in a cohesive and copasetic rooming environment," Komo says.
But senior Andrea Bradley, who is straight, says the switch benefits all students.
"It's hard enough to find a roommate," she says. "Why get rid of 50 percent of the population?"
Komo does have one piece of advice, though: To keep the peace, keep it platonic.
"No romantic couples should ever live together whether they be same-sex or opposite-sex," he says.
The university will begin offering gender-neutral housing in dorms next fall.