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Co-Ed Crazy

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One mom was mad as hell her daughter was living in a co-ed dorm, so she decided to do something about it.

college students in a co-ed dorm

Ronda Kaysen: When Karin Venable Morin found out that her daughter had been assigned to a co-ed dorm room at Stanford University (yes, the room is co-ed), she went into a tailspin. She called the university and demanded that the situation be rectified, she pleaded her case with the university president, and she threatened to stop paying tuition. Then she took her grievances public and wrote about the new policy in the National Review.

In the article, Morin expresses outrage that her daughter -- a senior in her final term -- was sharing a room with not one, but two male students. It was part of a pilot "gender-neutral housing" program and somehow her daughter ended up in the middle of it.

She wrote that her daughter was unaware of the new policy and assigned to a co-ed room because she missed a critical housing meeting. Rather than cause an upheaval, her daughter opted to sleep on a futon in another room as a solution.

This all sounds like a terrible situation, right? Not so fast. This isn't a story about a school disregarding a student's needs. This is a story about a mother losing control over her child's life.

Her daughter, it turns out, was perfectly happy with the housing arrangement. Daisy Morin, a 22-year-old senior, was fully aware of the school's housing policies and saw no problem with them.

The New York Times picked up Morin's National Review article, and among the reader responses was one from Daisy, telling her side of the story.

"This conflict has very little to do with Stanford and gender-neutral housing. Is has everything to do with my parents having a hard time adjusting to the fact that I'm out of the house (I'm the oldest), I'm 3,000 miles away, and -- especially -- that I'm a liberal agnostic while they are conservative Catholics. The NR really should have looked into this situation a little bit before publishing that article," she wrote. "I can't believe I'm having to write this in the NYT blog. This is ridiculous."

According to Daisy, her mother cut her off financially for her final term. In the National Review, the elder Morin explained her logic this way: "We told our daughter that we would not pay for her final quarter -- if she wanted to stay at Stanford, she would have to take out a loan. When she protested that we were changing the terms of her attendance at the university, we told her that as far as we were concerned, it was Stanford that had changed the deal. Our morality is not for sale."

The drama doesn't end there. Karin Morin responded to her daughter's New York Times post with an online comment of her own. In it, she clarified why she made her private family fight a very public one.

"I take no particular pleasure in putting my family situation into the public eye. I do think it's important for other parents to know what they are buying. Some people like to call this concept 'transparency,'" she wrote. "We do not believe in giving anyone a carte blanche with our money, even our adult children. Unfortunately, dependents tend to avoid conflict (and that includes college students). That's why parents rely on institutional transparency. For me, the point of writing about what happened to our family is to help other parents know what questions to ask and what discussions to initiate."

Whew. I wish I could be a fly on the wall at that family's Christmas dinner.

next: Rob Lowe's Feud with Second Nanny Over
15 comments so far | Post a comment now
kate May 14, 2009, 10:13 AM

Im glad that the daughter told her side and honestly thos mother sounds like she wanted attention as much as she states otherwise. I hope Daisy enjoys her last semester…

Jennifer May 14, 2009, 10:14 AM

I think she needs to be more concerned about her daughter’s transperancy and less about the school’s. The whole reason she didn’t know was because her kid didn’t tell her.

LadyD May 14, 2009, 11:17 AM

I think this mom has crossed a line. To cut off a child is detrimental to that relationship. I don’t think she cares as much for her relationship with her daughter as she does about what the neighbors will say.

andrea May 14, 2009, 10:33 PM

wow, mom needs to cut the cord.

Money where the mouth is May 15, 2009, 12:09 AM

The parents have the perfect right to not pay for anything they don’t believe is right; the adult daughter does not have the “right” to have their money (she’s 22 years old!)

H May 15, 2009, 6:55 AM

By claiming it’s a morality issue, what they’re in effect suggesting is that it’s a problem because living with men is going to result in immoral activity. In other words, they don’t trust their daughter or credit her with enough self control/sense of right and wrong to behave appropriately. If it was my parents, that would anger me just as much if not more than the sudden and extremely detrimental financial strain in the most crucial time of your degree studies

aerialla May 15, 2009, 8:15 AM

I’m on the mom’s side. I believe if a parent is footing the bill for college then they have a right to know what is going on at the campus and with their college student children. I applaud this mother for sticking to her guns and her beliefs. It is obvious that this “adult” doesn’t respect her parents enough to know that they would not be happy with her decision while on their dime. If this “dependant” doesn’t like the way her parents are interested in her education then she should foot the bill on her own. How many other people have had no help at all with their college education yet this brat feels she can do what she wants as long as mom and dad pay the bills. Guess she got a huge wake up call from mom and dad.

Геннадий Новиков May 22, 2009, 3:07 PM

Отличный сайт! Если нужно убить парочку-троечку часиков - вам сюда :)

Dere May 27, 2009, 3:32 PM

There is truth on both sides. Yes the mom sounds overly controlling etc, but the fact is she is paying and yes she does get some input into how that money is spent. Either the daughter is an adult fully cognizant of her decisions- and able to pay her own way, or she isn’t. Money or the liberal life

Илья May 29, 2009, 11:27 PM

У меня скоро в закладках место закончится, но я рад добавлять с вашего блога и дальше ссылочки на интересные темы!

Захар Сенников June 11, 2009, 4:37 PM

Народ в таких вот случаях говорит - Баба и черта перехитрит. :)

Вячеслав June 19, 2009, 5:06 AM

какой-то оффтопик уже начался :)

Святослав Конев June 23, 2009, 8:42 PM

Даа… Но, как говорится, а воз и ныне там :)

LypeTrearia July 11, 2009, 11:02 PM
InheniPhofe March 16, 2011, 3:49 PM

Благодаря за интересната информация

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