National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) said it is considering a policy to allow male and female students to share dorm floors in response to students’ requests for co-ed housing.
The policy could be implemented as soon as next year, if passed in an NTNU general affairs meeting, the Taipei-based school said.
Most colleges in Taiwan house male and female students in separate dormitories.
However, as demand for a more gender-neutral living environment increases, some universities have allowed male and female students to live in the same building, but on different floors, to allow for more learning opportunities on gender equality.
The policy, initiated by the university’s Student Association and approved by its Office of General Affairs last year, would first allow co-ed dorm rooms on one floor, given that transforming the entire building into a co-ed dorm is not an easy task, NTNU vice president for general affairs Mii Horng-sheng (米泓生) said on Tuesday.
The school has tentatively designated the second floor of its Dorm 7 on its campus in Gongguan area (公館) as a co-ed floor.
Male and female students already share Dorm 7, but on different floors and have to use different elevators, Mii said.
The new policy would not allow female and male students to live in the same room, Mii added.
The lower floors in Dorm 7 have been for men and higher floors for women, Mii said, adding that originally the university wanted to make the sixth floor a co-ed floor, but students said the second floor would be easier to reach for women, as they would not need to pass other men’s floors on their way to their rooms.
The university took the students’ advice and plans to require all residents on the second floor take the men’s elevator so that there would not be men in the women’s elevator, Mii said.
While the university has discussed the issue with dorm residents several times, the Student Association was to hold a briefing yesterday to hear more opinions on the issue, he added.
The opinions would be reviewed at the general affairs meeting at the end of the semester, when representatives from the association and the dormitory are to attend, Mii said.
The university would not force the policy through if there is opposition at the meeting, in which case it would continue communicating with the students, he added.
If the policy is passed, the university would give students who want to live there advice, for example, on how to dress in communal areas, Mii said.