BIGGI: MU opening new opportunities for change

BIGGI new1The university announced last week that the Dorothy Day living community in Straz Tower will consist of a co-ed residence floor, and I could not be any happier.

I see this as a time of great change at Marquette, and I am all for it. With the first lay president in the university’s history, now is a time of opportunity to move forward with positive transformations at Marquette.

The idea of not having at least some co-ed floors is outdated. Sure, Schroeder, McCormick, McCabe and Straz are co-ed by floor, but the residence hall guidelines set them far apart from dormitories at other schools.

When I visit my friends at public and private schools, most of them just need a key to get into the building. When visitors go to Saint Louis University, they are able to get checked in with the opposite gender overnight, even during the city’s Mardi Gras celebration.

There is no reason to restrict men and women from hanging out in their rooms past 2 a.m. There needs to at least be a discussion at about co-ed residency at Marquette that can still align with our Jesuit values. Whether it be an open forum with various leaders of the university or greater involvement, members of Marquette Student Government or the common student, the possibilities are endless.

My time in the residence halls has been great, and it is not as if men and women cannot hang out together the dorms. But I think there should at least be an option to live on the same floor as the opposite gender. Two of my friends at University of Oregon lived in rooms right next to each other freshman year: one of them male, the other female.

I am excited for what the future of Marquette could be. I always hear from parents about their time at Marquette in the 1970s or ’80s and it just made sense to me. They did not have co-ed floors, but their depictions sounded like more of a unified community. If you have ever watched a video of the university after Marquette won the national basketball championship in ’77, you know what I am talking about. One of the reasons Dorothy Day went co-ed is that being in the program means working closely with the group as a whole. I see this as a chance for all of campus to become more integrated.

I love Marquette, but I obviously would not be a columnist if I did not have an opinion of how the school could improve. This time of administrative transition is an excellent opportunity for modification and change.

As students, I think our voices are more important now than ever because I truly believe the school wants to hear what we have to say. I am not saying the former administration failed to be open-minded, but now Marquette has a chance to create a completely different story.

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