Lower Education

Texas Christian University Cancels Gay Housing, But Not Because of the Uproar


Texas Christian University planned to offer undergrads gay-oriented housing, creating a safe space for GLBT students (and heteros too) who wanted to live in a home where sexual orientation and gender identity could be explored without hate. Now, they shelved plans — and insist it had nothing to do with conservative outcry.

Called “living learning communities,” TCU offers students branded dorm rooms under themes like honors, leadership, environmental issues, health and wellness, and language and international issues. It’s not unique to TCU; plenty of other colleges give students a choice in themed living spaces.

The eight “housing pods” under the “DiversCity Q” theme, however, was the only one that set anybody off. The media attention TCU’s decision received was unexpected, the university says. But it’s not why they canceled their new housing plans.

TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. said the national attention over the gay-related housing theme did not drive his decision to backtrack on themed housing.

“The biggest complaint we got from people was not about any single group but about having these groups in general,” said Boschini, whose decision reverses the approval of eight new housing pods, including the gay and lesbian-themed unit. The others – patriotism, Christianity and marine biology, for examples – didn’t appear to be controversial.

Boschini said he heard from students, faculty, alumni and others. “Their theory was, it’s splitting students up instead of uniting them,” he said.

Carson Russell, a TCU student, said the administration’s backtracking is ill-advised.

“Now, the community that supported the movement for these housing communities, myself included, is angry at TCU for giving in to those who were against it,” Russell said. “I had not heard much, if any, complaint from the majority of the student body, so whoever it was that changed TCU’s mind must be more important than its students, I guess.”

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  • dellisonly

    Boards of Directors change the minds of well intentioned faculty seemingly at will. As a Fort Worth resident I found it promising that TCU would offer such a housing possibility. In reality you can argue it either way. We can not build a nation of tolerance if we continue to separate ourselves from the rest of society but our youth should feel comfortable enough to be themselves. More than likely they had a problem filling the dorm.

  • rae

    @dellisonly: they did have have trouble filling the dorm. i have friends at the university, serval of whom are in the gsa and no one really wanted to be in that housing.

  • Tony

    I agree with the decision. If I were able to choose where I lived when I went to college I wouldn’t have been exposed to so many different kinds of kids. Most people tend to stick with what they know and being a white kid from a rural setting I would have probably wanted to room with people just like me. My school had a huge African American community and Jewish community. For the first time in my life I was a minority. I was scared at first (who isn’t when they go off to college?) to be be around people different from me, but I made many great friends and was opened up to differents parts of life.

    If there were a gay dorm doesn’t it defeat the purpose of seeking acceptance? How can the majority of straight people get to know and accept GLBT individuals if we are living our segregated lives?

  • Duffman

    Why the hell would anyone want to live in a LGBT ghetto?

  • KF

    I live in a similar kind of theme housing at another university and I can say it has the exact opposite effect of “separating” students if it’s done right. It’s basically the same as any other dorm with the advantage of having a lot of (completely optional) activities that give people an opportunity to discuss and learn about different issues (film screenings, going to plays and museums, guest speakers, etc.). Also, it’s not like only people who identify as whatever the theme is live there, at least the way ours is structured. I wish TCU had promoted and/or administered these dorms better, they can be a really fun and interesting place to live.

  • Bitch, Please

    Are you kidding me? I only wish I had something I like this when I was going to college and nearly dropped out because of all the hate around me in the dorm. How many times can you ignore the snickering, the taunting, and the laughter as you pass by? How much can you deafen yourself to name calling, like faggot, punk, sissy…? It would have been great to be around people who were like me and not always walk around with my head lowered in shame.

  • Jason

    Bitch, Please where did you go to school and in what year? I was in college in the late 80s/early 90s and went to a school in central NY. so much has changed since i was in school i find it hard to believe that in the past decade that life on campus for GLBTers is difficult. At religious schools I can see there being issues, but elsewhere I’m surprised.

    i think having gay dorms opens up another can of worms as well. if two guys can live together who are attracted to one another will schools then allow hetero guys and girls to share a dorm room? not sure if parents would want this.

  • Alec

    @Jason: How different would that be from the situation right now? I mean, two guys who were boyfriends could easily live together in a dorm without requesting a special “gay dorm.”

    Anyway, I think college aged students can make those decisions for themselves.

  • Cameron

    My friend goes to Tufts, which has a “rainbow house.” There are a lot of themed “houses.” It’s pretty small, but they throw a killer party that bring out the whole community on campus, and of course a lot of straight folk.

    It’s not a BAD thing, but it’s not entirely necessary.

  • Byggvir

    One of the themes is PATRIOTISM? WTF?

  • Byggvir

    Btw, to Jason, a lot of schools have gender-neutral housing.

  • Brandon


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