Open-Dorm Hours are Confusing
What’s the deal with open-dorm hours? They’re when you can have your significant other, or anyone of the opposite gender, over to your room. You’re allowed to have them over, but only at specific times, and on specific days, and in specific lounges. It is not as controversial as Chapel or the D.C. food, but not too many people are fans of either the concept or the execution of our open-dorm hours. The bottom line is that the idea of open-dorm hours could be communicated better.
We can all agree that the purpose of having open-dorm hours is to allow certain, approved times to hang out with people who otherwise wouldn’t be allowed in the dorms. A lot of students think that the open-dorm hours exist so that nobody is having someone else in their room doing things they are not supposed to be doing. But maybe that is not the case. One R.C. I interviewed said, “It’s primarily a way for the college to ensure that they are creating the best educational atmosphere and the best constructive atmosphere for its students.”
When asked if the hours applied to the majority of the building in question, the R.C. said, “Open hours apply to the rooms. So normally when people think of open-dorm hours, they think of, like, the entire floor,” and that “there are weird exceptions. The basement of Holtwick is not 24-hours, but because of the weird thing with the A.C.R.E’s this year, that basement apartment is technically a part of upper-division housing and has apartment hours.” That is quite odd. One thing that could help is if they had posters up in the buildings, as opposed to telling you once when you first show up at orientation and expecting you to remember throughout the rest of your time on campus.
When asked how hours used to work, the interviewed R.C. said, “They normally stay the same. It’s just changing because the system for housing is changing.” That definitely helps clear things up. When asked who was in charge of the changes, the R.C. said, “I figure that it’s some mixture of Res. Life & Student Senate... because Student Senate passed the 24-hour space.” He continued with, “the students have to vote for a specific space in a dorm area or an area on campus to be 24-hour space.”
(Interview of Logan Murphy from student senate)
(Interview of Dylan Deppe of the papyrus)
24-hour spaces are a nifty idea, especially because students get a say in the matter. But the problem arises when the R.C. says that students typically want more information than can be given or expect change. So what should students do? Do students have to do more than just talk it out with Student Senate? Not being completely open about the issue and what students are capable of doing definitely does not help in the confusion on the subject.
Open-Dorm Hours are odd and confusing and often frustrating. There are weird rules with them and sometimes our first reaction is to groan about how dumb we think it is. But hey, guess what? It is all changing.
But remember that we all have a say in the matter, to change things if they are making us grumpy. So, at the end of the day, whether open-dorm hours are stupid and confusing, it is on the student body to make sure that the changes we want are communicated with Student Senate and other organizations to get the best out of our experience here.