Students Respond to Lawsuit: GW Professor’s Challenge Met With Hostility
Tomas Bethencourt, Class of 2013
September 23, 2011
Filed under Quill
If there was a prize for the lawyer with the most absurd and irrational case, Mr. John Banzhaf would certainly win it this year. Our school is being sued for supposedly violating discrimination laws when approving single-sex dorms. This is apparently, according to, Mr. Banzhaf, “…the same as saying that since Muslims and Jews don’t get along we should force them to live apart.” Such a mindless outburst does not deserve much attention and I applaud President Garvey’s silence against this ridiculous accusation.
Discrimination, which should be a very familiar term, especially for lawyers, means that there is a presence of unfair treatment to someone based on their race, ethnicity, sex, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, or age. Unfortunately for Mr. Banzhaf, there is neither unfair treatment nor unequal opportunity of any kind whatsoever when all dormitories are single-sex. In case Mr. Banzhaf is concerned with unequal opportunity or anything remotely similar, he might be at peace knowing that all dorms in our school have bathrooms, showers and beds. So no one will be forced into unlivable conditions just because they happen to be of a particular gender. And if Mr. Banzahf is honestly convinced that it is really a discriminatory issue, he has a long list of lawsuits to file ahead of him, beginning with every single restaurant, gas station or any sort of facility in D.C. (and maybe the whole U.S.) that is “discriminating” against women and men by forcing them to use separate bathrooms. What a horror.
I can assure Mr. Banzhaf that he is the only one losing sleep over this issue. The student body is not worried and does not feel discriminated against. In fact, I dare to say that most of the student body does not mind President Garvey’s decision. So unfortunately, this lawyer is not doing anyone a favor. The Catholic University is a private institution attempting to elevate the student life on campus, nothing else. And single-sex dormitory policy is a step they have taken towards achieving that goal. Whether Mr. Banzhaf agrees with it or not is completely irrelevant.