DePaul University’s Polyamory Studies

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DePaul, a Catholic university based in Chicago, has an LGBTQ Center on its campus. The center held an informational event on polyamory, entitled, “Polyamory Pause: A Dialogue on Open Relationships and Polyamory.” Campus Reform reported.

The event’s description sought to “dig past the surface conversation surrounding polyamory and open relationships” and examine “the ways soisl [sic] identity impact the conversations and the embodiment of open and polygamous [sic] relationships.”

Polyamory is the practice of having an open romantic relationship with multiple partners, with a focus on one primary dating partner. For example, a male practicing polyamory would be dating two females at the same time, but would be primarily dating one of them.

Participants, who remain unnamed, commented on how their current outlook on romantic relationships is focused on having multiple romantic partners, while having one primary romantic partner. One participant said, “When I was younger, I never had a vision of being with one person forever…Right now I am in a relationship that is monogamous for like, compulsory monogamy reasons, but I think that we both know and talk about it that I think I see that changing.”

Events like these are not uncommon on college campuses, and neither are the emergence of LGBTQ centers or liberal Women’s Studies centers. For example, Vanderbilt University held a similar event on polyamory, as did the University of Michigan.

As studies continue to show, Millennials and the younger generations are more likely to cohabit (or “live together”) without committing to marriage and raising children in stable, two-parent families. The emergence of polyamory-focused events on college campuses could illustrate the changing social mores and expectations of the younger generations.