Dorm Storm

Published June 22, 2011

A Washington, DC law professor is threatening to sue Catholic University of America over the university’s plans to bring back single-sex dorms.

John Banzhaf, a law professor at George Washington University and fomenter of obesity litigation, says he believes the university’s plans are discriminatory. Catholic University is making the move to reduce binge drinking and “hooking up.”

But Banzhaf says, effectively, “separate but equal” is illegal and amounts to housing discrimination in violation of DC law. “Suppose a university decided that there would be less racial tension if all the blacks were in a black dorm, all the whites were in a white dorm,” he said. “Each one is, quote, getting their own dormitory, and maybe some of them would be happier that way. But surely no one would suggest that it’s lawful.”

Source: Debra Cassens Weiss, “Law Prof Threatens Suit over University’s Plan to Reinstitute Single-Sex Dorms,” American Bar Association Journal, June 22, 2011