The Department of Residence Life has made big changes this year including new staff and a new director of Res Life. While the majority of these changes are positive, we feel that these changes also have created challenges for residents living on campus such as respect in the residence halls and having policies enforced more.
Those that live in the dorms should be aware of the quiet hours that are from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays and from 1 to 8 a.m. Fridays through Saturdays. According to the Residence Life website, during the hours previously listed noise levels “must be kept to a minimum to allow study and sleep.” Resident Assistants are supposed to enforce this quiet hour policy, however it has been noticed in some residence halls there is a lack of enforcement and students are left trying to sleep or study through the loud music or rowdy crowd that is congregating in the hallway.
Although this issue of quiet hours not being followed should be more enforced with the Res Life staff, it is also up to students living in the halls to be respectful. That means: be conscious of those around you and how loud you are being. If another resident asks politely for a person or group to lower their voices during quiet hours or a suggestion for assistance on other residence hall related issues, it is reasonable to say that their request should be respected.
There is no surprise that room switches occur frequently throughout the year in residence halls. Things happen such as roommates disagree and realize that they are better off living apart rather than sharing a compact room or someone’s significant other stays over too much and a compromise cannot be reached. However, roommate agreements could prevent certain conflicts from arising by allowing roommates to discuss their opinions and creating their own guidelines for the room. While roommate agreements have been given out in previous years, there are some floors in the residence halls that did not receive them this year.
Finding more engaging activities for residents and Res Life staff in the hall would also be a way to develop a solid community. While movie and craft nights can be fun, more interactive activities such as tie-dying or even team games or competitions would allow staff and residents to work together even more.
RAs have training before every semester to prepare themselves for their job. Receiving a more solid and developed training on how to enforce policies would improve the atmosphere in the residence halls and promote respect among residents and staff.