On November 14, the administrators of Kaj Baker's private all-women's dorm, Scottish Rite Dormitory at the University of Texas at Austin, called her into their office for a chat.
SRD Director Mary Mazurek and SRD registrar Meshelle Bourne told Baker, a freshman, that some people at the dorm aren't comfortable with her girlfriend Carlee coming over.
"We’re trying to make sure that everybody — all 315 residents — feels more comfortable," Mazurek said in the meeting with Baker, according to the video by Texas News Channel below. "And sometimes that takes compromise on both sides to do that."
They brought up that Carlee had stayed over for three nights, until 3 in the morning. SRD is a private off-campus dorm that only houses women. According to its contract, men are only allowed at certain times if they're escorted, but female guests are allowed anytime and can stay overnight. When Baker brought this up, the administrators agreed that she hadn't broken any rules.
That's when Baker realized that she and Carlee were being targeted for their sexuality. "They told me that from this point forward, I was not allowed to have any guests over," Baker told Refinery29. "When I asked them why, they told me that my girlfriend and I make people uncomfortable, and that people are not comfortable with my sexual orientation at the dorm." She said SRD has not contacted her since.
"I hope that in the future, SRD staff does not use a resident's sexual orientation to justify a guest ban," said Baker.
According to The Daily Texan, Carlee said she hadn't even been showering at the dorm or using the dining hall without paying, as is required for guests. "Every time I’ve gone there, we’ve gotten looks," Carlee said. "At the beginning, people didn’t really know who I was, but then that all kind of subsided, and people have been really nice to us. So it was just surprising that they were trying to say that now I wasn’t allowed to be there."
Baker said that she now feels uncomfortable staying in the dorm, and has been staying at Carlee's apartment.
"They were telling me that SRD is conservative, we're not UT," she said in the video. "UT is liberal with whom they let in the dorms, we're not, the girls' parents pay $10,000 a year to live here and you're making people uncomfortable. ... And I guess it hurts that they're saying other people don't feel comfortable in the dorm because of us, but honestly, it's the reverse."