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Nov 22, 2010 10:55 PM

University of Arizona considers co-ed dorm rooms

TUCSON - The University of Arizona is looking into the possibility of mixed gender dorm rooms.

It would give students the option to decide if they want to live with a student of the opposite sex.

The proposal right now would only make about five of the thousands of dorms here on campus "gender inclusive."

They are also looking into making a small wing of about twenty rooms exclusive to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students.

Residence Life officials say this is happening in universities across the country. They also say this entire idea is student driven.

"It's really about creating a safe, welcoming and inclusive space and wanting all of the students at U of A to feel like they have a home and feel like they can live in the halls. We don't want to hear from students that they were scared to live in the residence halls because they feared for their safety. That's not what college is supposed to be about," said Hannah Lozon with Residence Life.

Opponents of the idea are now speaking out. Religious defense group Alliance Defense says this will encourage sexual harrassment issues on campus.

"You're asking for trouble when you're doing that. Universities have enough trouble with binge drinking, depression, and anxiety...then you're going to throw students together and say, oh by the way...opposite sex students...go ahead and live in the same dorm room," said Jeremy Tedesco, the legal council for the Alliance Defense.

Residence Life says they have heard complete support from the administration and several groups on campus. They say this could become a reality as early as next fall.

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