In an age of shifting definitions readers find themselves puzzling over the meaning of headlines like this one from the Kansas City Star: “As gender-inclusive housing expands at UMKC, KU, other universities remain in limbo.” In this context, the word “inclusive” makes little sense. What the universities are doing is creating separate spaces for the sexually ambiguous, not including them in the regular flow of dorm life.
As the Star acknowledges, “College freshmen used to only check boxes for men’s, women’s or co-ed dorms.” To the uninitiated, these choices would seem sufficient to satisfy all tastes. If, for instance, a student were unsure of his or her identity, he or she could feel more or less at home in a co-ed dorm.
Not anymore. “Now schools are moving to expand the options to fit a more fluid definition of gender,” the Star tells us. They are setting aside suites for those “transitioning from the gender on their birth certificate to the one they identify with, or for whom the classic idea of male or female doesn’t fit.” UMKC and the University of Kansas have each apparently set aside housing for twenty or more transgender students.
Left unsaid is whether the suites would be segregated by transitional direction. In other words, would girls transitioning to boys have to share living spaces with boys transitioning to girls. The article suggests that the act of transitioning is bond enough to overcome all other sensitivities.
The article does not mention the University of Missouri. At last count MU has something like five empty dorms. This catastrophic shortfall in enrollment resulted from public revulsion at the university’s public, PC meltdown in the fall of 2015. If MU administrators were clever, they might set aside a whole dorm for those in transition and raise the word “inclusive” to a new, highly marketable level.
Those who follow university politics know what the word “inclusive” really means. When the dust settles, it means more administrators, higher tuition, and increased taxes.