Leadership: Single Sex Dorms Return to Catholic University of America
Here is one simple step colleges can take to reduce both binge drinking and hooking up: Go back to single-sex residences.
Next year all freshmen at The Catholic University of America will be assigned to single-sex residence halls. The year after, we will extend the change to the sophomore halls. It will take a few years to complete the transformation. The change will probably cost more money. There are a few architectural adjustments. We won't be able to let the ratio of men and women we admit into the freshman class vary from year to year with the size and quality of the pools. But our students will be better off.
Mr. and Mrs. John Garvey prepare for the March for Life last year
WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - First, full disclosure; I sincerely HOPE to be able to call the Catholic University of America (CUA) my Alma Mater in the not too distant future. I am working on the dissertation having completed all the coursework and exams for the PhD in Moral Theology. My experience in that program was life changing. My experience of the faculty and participation in the faith and culture on campus all contributed to my love of this institution.
Those who read me know of my conviction concerning the importance of preparing the next generation of Catholic men and women at authentically Catholic Colleges and Universities. During my time at CUA, now Bishop David O'Connell, C.M served as the President. His leadership was an example of how vital the role of President is in securing the Catholic identity of a University. His tenure at the helm bore tremendous fruit. So, while I was not surprised that the Holy Spirit tapped him for the episcopacy, I was concerned that the Presidency at CUA be filled by someone who would continue the forward momentum.
Last year when the Board announced that Boston College Law School Dean, John H. Garvey, would be the new president, I was not sure what to think. I knew of Garvey's impeccable credentials. I am a lawyer. I also knew of the praise he had earned for his service to the Reagan administration and at the helm of Boston College Law School.
However, it was when Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit, who chairs the university's board of trustees told the Washington Post that he fully expected Garvey to continue the work of reclaiming the Catholic identity of the university that I breathed a sigh of relief. Both because I deeply respect the Archbishop and because he hit the proverbial nail right on the head, a committment to Catholic identity is the singularly most important criteria in choosing a Catholic College President.
Then, a day before his inauguration, John Garvey spoke to the students in Caldwell Hall Auditorium before joining them, along with his wife, at the 38th Annual March for Life. He called them to "be the kind, loving face of Catholic University, the Catholic Church, and the pro-life cause. Caldwell Hall holds fond memories for me from my classes there. The only other place more significant is the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception where I spent so many hours at the beautiful Masses and praying in the chapels dedicated to Our Lady. President Garvey spoke to the students of the Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Our Lady is depicted pregnant with the Lord:
"What if she had been alive today in America, faced with exhortations to 'live your own life, be yourself, do your own thing'? What about those 50 million children who have been the victims of abortion since Roe. v. Wade? What could they have become? Right now in America, the unborn are looked at as not being people, as [African American] slaves were at one time. Today, we stand for justice." I knew then and there this vital University, the academic heart of the Catholic University network in the United States, was in good hands.
On Monday, June 13, 2011, the following editorial appeared in the Wall Street Journal. It only confirmed my judgment:
Why We're Going Back to Single-Sex Dorms: Student housing has became a hotbed of reckless drinking and hooking up.
By JOHN GARVEY
My wife and I have sent five children to college and our youngest just graduated. Like many parents, we encouraged them to study hard and spend time in a country where people don't speak English. Like all parents, we worried about the kind of people they would grow up to be.
We may have been a little unusual in thinking it was the college's responsibility to worry about that too. But I believe that intellect and virtue are connected. They influence one another. Some say the intellect is primary. If we know what is good, we will pursue it. Aristotle suggests in the "Nicomachean Ethics" that the influence runs the other way. He says that if you want to listen intelligently to lectures on ethics you "must have been brought up in good habits." The goals we set for ourselves are brought into focus by our moral vision.
"Virtue," Aristotle concludes, "makes us aim at the right mark, and practical wisdom makes us take the right means." If he is right, then colleges and universities should concern themselves with virtue as well as intellect.
I want to mention two places where schools might direct that concern, and a slightly old-fashioned remedy that will improve the practice of virtue. The two most serious ethical challenges college students face are binge drinking and the culture of hooking up.
Alcohol-related accidents are the leading cause of death for young adults aged 17-24. Students who engage in binge drinking (about two in ...
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