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May 25, 2019

Gay Texas college student alleges discrimination after dorm forbids her to have guests

November 29, 2018
University of Texas at Austin campus (Eric Gay / AP)

A University of Texas freshman is claiming that she is the only one of 300 residents in the all-female, private Scottish Rite Dormitory who is forbidden to have guests, because of her sexual orientation.

Kaj Baker said she has been told she cannot have any more guests for the rest of the semester, but without being given a clear reason. The main complaint seemed to be that Baker and her girlfriend spent too much time in the study lounge, and that her fellow residents were uncomfortable with her using the restroom.

Baker met with dorm director Mary Mazurek and registrar Meshelle Bourne on Nov. 14 at their request, The Daily Texan reported. According to Baker’s recording shared with the newspaper, Mazurek stated flat-out that some of her fellow residents were uncomfortable with her sexual orientation and that she could no longer bring in guests.

“We’re trying to make sure that everybody—all 315 residents—feels more comfortable,” Mazurek told her, according to The Daily Texan. “And sometimes that takes compromise on both sides to do that.”

Baker said that she and her girlfriend were not intimate in public and that she had never spent the night. The worst they’d done was nap in the study lounge.

“The list of complaints weren’t us doing anything wrong. We weren’t harming anyone. We weren’t doing PDA. We weren’t breaking any rules. It was us existing,” Baker told CBS News in Austin. “They told me that girls need to feel safe here, and I asked her if we made people feel unsafe. She said, ‘I’m not going there. I’m not going there just yet.’ ”

In a statement to The Daily Texan, Mazurek said, “Scottish Rite Dormitory strives to create an environment which allows our residents to focus on completing their higher education goals while meeting our parent’s expectation of creating an atmosphere that fosters the growth and well-being of their daughters while attending the University.”

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