Making Campus Living More Catholic

Back when I went to the Catholic University of America, Conaty Hall was the all-women’s dorm — therefore known as “The Virgin Vault.” Now, it will be more like the campus.

Going into his second year as president, CUA’s John Garvey is moving to make it a single-sex-dormed campus.

He writes:

I know it’s countercultural. More than 90% of college housing is now co-ed. But Christopher Kaczor at Loyola Marymount points to a surprising number of studies showing that students in co-ed dorms (41.5%) report weekly binge drinking more than twice as often as students in single-sex housing (17.6%). Similarly, students in co-ed housing are more likely (55.7%) than students in single-sex dorms (36.8%) to have had a sexual partner in the last year—and more than twice as likely to have had three or more.

The point about sex is no surprise. The point about drinking is. I would have thought that young women would have a civilizing influence on young men. Yet the causal arrow seems to run the other way. Young women are trying to keep up—and young men are encouraging them (maybe because it facilitates hooking up).

He should be congratulated and imitated. These things matter.



  • Whitney

    Let’s take it one step further. I seem to remember single-sex Catholic colleges being quite popular (and known for their educational prowess) a few decades ago. What has happened to them? It becomes much more difficult to “hook up” when there is no gender mixing on campus – and in a true Catholic college, homosexual behavior would not be an issue. Plus, you can severely limit the number of student cars on campus, making it much more difficult to go into town to find someone for premarital sex. Keep the students on campus without access to the opposite gender, and you’ll keep the students focused and Catholic.

    • Greg Smith

      Hi Whitney ~ So, they enter college at 18 and graduate at 22 having had no opportunity as adults to develop social skills in relating to the opposite gender? That doesn’t sound like a very good way to develop young Catholics who will make sound marriages and found healthy families. ~ Pax ~ Greg

    • Francis

      Better yet, Whitney, why not just do online schooling to get a degree? They can simply be locked in their rooms at home with mom and dad to supervise their every move. Parents can buy software to prevent them from researching anything too provocative on their computers, as well. Or, if college is getting in the way of their Catholic faith, they could just skip it altogether.

    • Kevin J

      Pius XI condemned co-education in his encyclical Divini Illius Magistri as “founded upon naturalism and the denial of original sin; but by all, upon a deplorable confusion of ideas that mistakes a leveling promiscuity and equality, for the legitimate association of the sexes.”

      I think he had mid-adolescents rather than college kids most in mind. I would have rolled my eyes at this ten years ago, but that was before political demands for gender confusion became even more intense.



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