At least, that's the tone of this article that's in today's IHE. Although the author of the piece, Elizabeth Murphy, notes that opinion on CUA's campus is split 50/50 on the issue, she apparently saw fit to interview only those who felt that "if they're gonna do it, they're gonna do it," as she quotes from a couple of new freshmen. It might have been worth noting that the change, to be gradually phased in over the next four years, is halfway into the Autumn semester of the first year, so firm conclusions might not yet be justified. Murphy probably could also have found a freshman somewhere on campus who liked the arrangement and was willing to say so. It's hard to come away with the impression though, that she made much of an effort in that direction.
Steven Rhoads, NAS member and Political Science professor at the University of Virginia, writes [along with co-authors Laura Webber and Diana Van Fleet]at the Chronicle of Higher Education about the "hook-up" sexual culture now so widespread on many college campuses (and high schools as well, according to what one informed local counselor tells me). The subject has been examined here before, when we published Wendy Shalit's call for the recovery of some minimum standard of modesty in the dorms. Good luck with that, since I doubt that there is much on campus these days that hasn't been exposed, practiced, discussed or attempted. Most undergraduates, their sap rising, have long been accustomed to inhabiting the same buildings , the same floors, using the same common bathrooms and, more recently, the same dorm rooms. Beyond that, many undergraduate newspapers feature a regular "sex columnist," who usually doesn't devote a lot of space to modesty. Not much then, seems to stand in the way of the "hookup" culture, and, as Shalit discovered, the burden is on those uneasy with it to remove themselves by choice: there are few institutional props that even encourage, much less accomodate them. We're certainly not in Kansas anymore. Rhoads and his co-authors share Shalit's negative take on casual, random sexual encounters, but offer some intriguing empirical research results rather than simply subjective disapproval. On the basis of extensive survey questionaires, they find that young college women in particular, perhaps to their surprise, are increasingly unedified and troubled when they reflect on their "hookup" experiences. Not quite what they expected, it seems. It's worth reading, especially for the lively comments thread which follows.