Is a curfew needed in the residence halls?

dorms edit.jpg

This archived article was written by: Josie Slade

Midnight in USU Eastern’s residence halls is filled with little to no sound; at least it is when one of the resident advisors (RA) appears to fulfill nightly rounds. The midnight curfew that is in place for all students that live on campus is often ignored. Whether it be because they have forgotten or wish to remain in the company of friends or significant others, it still affects many of the students. But what is curfew? Should we keep this rule?
“Quiet hours” are enacted at night from 11-8 weeknights and 12-10 weekends. When quiet hours are in place, you are asked to keep your noise level to a minimum.
Nowhere in the official “residential handbook” is it stated that activity in the lounges and/or study rooms is against the rules. I know that I, as a student who lives on campus, was under the impression that these sorts of things were not prohibited.
The exact quotation from the handbook says, “In-Hall visitation (students who live in the same hall, visiting the same gender) will be permitted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.” Curfew, for all intents and purposes, is simply there to keep the opposite gender out of student’s rooms after curfew hours.
Curfew does not apply to activity that goes on outside of the residence halls and/or in the lounges. The only thing to worry about is the level of the volume and not the time.
With this in mind we begin to wonder about whether the curfew should be kept or taken away. This “visitation” rule is put in place to prevent sexual assault and other attacks that often happen in the middle of the night. Is this effective? I would have to disagree.
As a general rule, people who want to be together will find a way to be together. Any rule we have in place isn’t going to change this, no matter how hard we try. People always find a way around the rules, and RA’s are not always there to help keep people in check.
This issue becomes a problem when people begin to be written up. If you are aware of a person who is breaking the rule (even if you have no part of it) and don’t report it; you can be written up too. Why should you, I, or anyone else on campus be punished for another person’s mistakes?
You cannot constantly call or text to rat on your roommates; this is an impossible task to ask of anyone. No one wants to make enemies with their friends or roommates just because you didn’t want to get written up. You do after all, have to live with these people for at least the rest of the semester if not longer.
My vote is that we scratch the whole rule. Most everyone (bar a few people) who live in the residence halls are 18 or over. Legally, this makes the students consenting adults. “Curfew” sticks these adults into an area they are attempting to break out of by living away from home.
In addition to this, it discourages many of the residents from returning to the residence halls, even for the next semester. Do we really want to turn people away by sticking to a rule that often is ignored and worked around anyway?