January 23, 2009 in Idaho

UI president stops coed dorm plan

David Johnson Lewiston Tribune

Saying he was uncomfortable with shared bathroom space for students of opposite gender, University of Idaho interim President Steven Daley-Laursen on Thursday announced the discontinuation of a co-ed housing plan.

“After reviewing the actual physical configuration of the suites that had been proposed for co-ed housing in the future, I have determined that the suites are not appropriate for this purpose,” Daley-Laursen announced in a prepared statement.

UI officials recently said the co-ed living option would be offered in one on-campus residence hall for students with sophomore standing or higher. The concept, aimed in part at reducing a 20 percent vacancy rate, drew some criticism, but Daley-Laursen did not mention that in his statement.

“While the suites offer private and secure sleeping accommodations,” the statement read, “they also feature a shared, secure bathroom space, which I am not comfortable offering to students of opposite gender. Consequently, I have ordered the discontinuation of the plan for these accommodations at the University of Idaho.”

The plan had restricted mix-gender housing to suites in the university’s newest residence hall complex called the Living Learning Community. No other announcements were made about ways UI plans to encourage students to live in on-campus housing.

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