An Intimate Revolution in Campus Life? Gender Roles and their Impact on Dorm Coedification: A University of Illinois Perspective

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Joseph Porto


At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, ground-up change helped achieve the coedification of the residence halls. Students themselves lobbied for new residential policies and crafted the “Proposed Undergraduate Residence Hall Flexible Living - Master Plan” (referred to as “the Master Plan” for convenience) in the summer of 1970, which, after careful revisions from university administration, set the guidelines for the university’s first genuinely coed dorms. The “Flexible” aspect of the program represented the dorm-by-dorm process by which it operated. Because each dorm created its own unique coedification plan, some interesting patterns arose between the male and female houses. These patterns serve to highlight larger gender stereotypes and differences typically perceived by early-year undergraduate students in the late sixties and early seventies.

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