A great injustice exists here at the University of Mary Washington. A form of intolerance and discrimination exists within the residence halls. An act of oppression weighs upon our student body this day. For the most beautiful residence hall on campus, Ball Hall, is denied to men everywhere merely because they are not women.
This hall is adorned with saintly statues, light-breathing domes, the imposing grandeur of marble columns, a radiant white grand piano, beautiful libraries with brick-laden fireplaces and all the architectural ecstasies that thrill the spirit whilst awing the intellect. However, these luxuries are made exclusively available to women. It is provided for the satisfaction of a single gender.
I turn my thoughts to the well-known case of Plessey v. Fergusson, the verdict of which established the legal principle supporting the “separate but equal” treatment of the races before the law. I am reminded of the consequences of Plessey, wherein the races were indeed kept separate and apart, but, by the enormity of evil resident within the soul of man, would not allow themselves to live as equals with those whom their pride had labeled as “less-than.”
Before people get the wrong impression of me as unduly inflamed by wrathfully false assumptions, allow me to clarify that I neither bear any ill will toward women nor do I challenge the traditional role of all-girl residence halls at UMW. According to an evaluation conducted by U.S. News World Report, there is an estimated 64.3 percent females enrolled at UMW compared to 35.7 percent males. It is therefore rational that some halls should be all girl. I only argue that, if males are to be confined to certain halls, and barred from living in others, that the highest quality halls should not be restricted to women.
Thus, Ball Hall should be made co-ed, and, in its place, another hall should be made an all-girl hall. Men as well as women should be granted the opportunity to experience the highest of living standards.
So I ask you, everyone, do you think men, as well as women, have the poetic sensibilities required to appropriately appreciate what is beautiful? If we, too, by dignity of the same birth, deserve to live in the most pleasing living environments, as women do in Ball Hall? I say we do. Let us not forget that tradition has been broken here once before, as all residence halls used to be all-girl. Therefore, let us break tradition once more, and make a new tradition out of it.