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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Life + Arts

OUT AND ABOUT: Freshman struggles with housing, gay roommate

Many people view college as an escape from high school torment, but one incoming student learned that the sanctuary may be a mirage.

While preparing to move into the residence halls as a participant of the Freshman Year Residential Experience program, the gay freshman was contacted by his future roommate.

The two immediately developed a friendly relationship during phone conversations, and the straight student even told The Daily Cougar under condition of anonymity that his roommate seemed ‘like a pretty cool guy.’

That all changed, however, when the student found his future roommate’s Facebook profile and discovered that he was gay.

At this point, the freshman had a sudden change of heart in regards to his new roommate.

He said he ‘had a long family discussion’ and it was decided that he wouldn’t share a room with a homosexual in the interest of ‘preventing a situation ‘hellip; like rape.’

Never mind that psychologists acknowledge rape as an act of aggression, and someone who is open with his sexuality is less at a risk of being a rapist.

The gay student said he was ‘shocked by the situation,’ adding that he ‘wasn’t surprised’ about his roommate’s feelings.

The interesting part was that he also said his roommate ‘didn’t seem hostile, just really awkward.’

The freshman also recalled his roommate saying that he would be receptive to a gay roommate if ‘he acted completely straight and never made any gay references.’

UH maintained a neutral stance on this situation.

Residential Life and Housing manager Lupe Trevino said she would look out for any ‘gay-friendly students moving into the dorms,’ so lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender freshmen could secure alternative living arrangements.

‘A student is a student,’ she said. ‘We love them all equally.’

Typically, RLH places the burden of finding new living arrangements on the student who initiates the complaint.

Music education freshman Ruby Moreno said the situation would have been prevented if RLH had taken further precaution when initially assigning roommates.

‘I think the department in general should have a better system for pairing people,’ Moreno said.

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