University of Chicago to Allow Co-Ed Dorm Rooms

Roommates Erik Youngdahl, left, and Michelle Garcia surf the internet in their room in a house for students with an interest in Russian studies at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., Thursday, April 24, 2008. Garcia and Youngdahl share a room because they realized they made the best fit compared to their other roommate options. At least two dozen schools now have policies that allow some or all students to share a room with whomever they choose. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
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CHICAGO – The University of Chicago is joining a nationwide trend of allowing male and female students to live not just on the same dorm floor, but in the same dorm room.

The school sent a letter out to parents last week informing them of the decision. The school says it was a student-led initiative that isn't aimed at romantic couples. However, the school says couples won't be banned from asking to be roommates when the program begins next month.

Nationally more than 30 campuses allow co-ed dorm rooms.

The University of Chicago program is called open housing and it won't include freshmen. Students do not need parental permission to participate. The school says students will not be assigned mixed-gender housing. Instead it's on a request basis.