Dorm dam­age?

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

Re “Ban dorms; they worsen in­equal­ity,” Opin­ion, July 28

The op-ed is earnest and funny. As a fa­ther, my take on col­lege hous­ing is to re­turn to the good old days of sin­gle-sex dorms. This would pro­tect del­i­cate young ladies from hearing young men make dumb sex­ist re­marks, and it would help sen­si­tive young men from hav­ing to see young women in curlers and bathrobes.

Sin­gle-sex dorms would also al­low both gen­ders to be them­selves with­out feel­ing self-con­scious and with­out be­ing afraid of be­ing re­ported to the thought po­lice. Thus the gen­ders would be forced to meet in such se­cret places as the li­brary. Heaven for­bid!

Fi­nally, sin­gle-sex dorms might en­cour­age such dan­ger­ous ac­tiv­i­ties as study­ing and maybe, just maybe, by be­ing away from each other, the gen­ders might learn to treat each other bet­ter. Mark Walker Chino Hills

The au­thor pro­poses mix­ing elite stu­dents with young adults of vary­ing back­grounds with the goal of ex­pos­ing young Amer­i­cans to oth­ers out­side of their so­cial com­fort zone and eco­nomic class.

His model would re­quire huge over­sight and thou­sands of costly gov­ern­ment man­agers. Ac­tu­ally, such a sys­tem is al­ready in place and has achieved this goal for over 200 years: the United States mil­i­tary. Tom Gar­nett Santa Bar­bara

The au­thor im­plies in his op-ed that it is “elit­ist” for Stan­ford (I am Class of 1980), Yale and Har­vard to have their stu­dents some­how se­cluded in dorms with only their class­mates.

I can as­sure the au­thor that I, for one, was not and am not elite. Yes, I was a very good stu­dent. But I grew up in ru­ral Cal­i­for­nia where my mother was an el­e­men­tary school teacher and my fa­ther a body and fen­der re­pair guy.

Then, all frosh were re­quired to live on cam­pus (a very good idea from the stand­point of learn­ing about peo­ple who are dif­fer­ent from your­self ), and in my coed dorm were many stu­dents who were some of the first in their fam­i­lies to at­tend col­lege. And there were many of us who had to work while we at­tended school and who were also re­quired as a part of our ma­jors to work in the com­mu­nity.

Frieder­s­dorf ac­cuses uni­ver­si­ties of “hav­ing nar­row in­ter­ests.” Un­like the pic­ture that he paints, dorms ac­tu­ally al­low a life filled with di­ver­sity. Yvonne Ran­dle Los An­ge­les

If the United States is re­ally in­ter­ested in giv­ing elite stu­dents real-world ex­pe­ri­ence, make dorms avail­able cour­tesy of Uncle Sam.

As a veteran of the draft era, my out­fit had col­lege grads as well as a cross sec­tion of the rest of Amer­ica.

De­bate could get quite lively. David Strauss Ar­ca­dia

Paul Sakuma As­so­ci­ated Press

DO DORMS on univer­sity cam­puses un­wisely iso­late elite stu­dents from those un­like them­selves?

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