Behind the Headlines

  • "Virtue"? What's That?

    June 16, 2011
    written by

    In response to:

    "Why We're Going Back to Single-Sex Dorms"
    Wall Street JournalJune 13, 2011

    Writing in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), the president of Catholic University announces that his school is switching back to single-sex dorms. This at a time when more than 90 percent of all college housing is coed. So what gives?

    John Garvey calls this an “old-fashioned remedy” to address two escalating problems: “reckless drinking and hooking up.”

    Leave aside those particular problems. More interesting are two larger points Garvey makes. One is that colleges should be concerned with a student’s virtue, not just his intellect. The other point is implicit in the first: that colleges really should serve in loco parentis—that it is “the college’s responsibility,” as Garvey writes, to worry about “the kind of people” students become and how they behave while matriculating.

    I’d say Garvey’s perspective is “old-fashioned” also—and I suspect many parents wish more college administrators were similarly backward in their thinking.

    The views and opinions expressed in Behind the Headlines content do not necessarily represent those of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

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