I have heard arguments that rules are meant to protect student’s safety, while others say rules serve no purpose. To some extent, both views have valid arguments. Some rules are made to ensure that our campus stays safe, such as not allowing hot plates in the dorm room (which is a fire hazard). However, other rules are overkill and serve only to hinder our civil liberties as adults.
One such rule is where students have to ask permission to demonstrate on campus. Last time I checked, we still had the freedom of speech, and we shouldn’t need to ask permission to voice our concerns.
The administrators should have the right to keep an eye on student protests in case they get violent, but beyond that, they should have no say in where we protest (Note: I didn’t say how, because activities such as flag burning on campus are not safe). TCU may be a private institution, but with the amount of people attending, it should be considered public domain, and our freedoms as students are protected under that idea.
Dorm curfews should also be eliminated. I understand that you shouldn’t have guests past a certain time out of respect for your roommate. However, this rule is applied unfairly across campus.
In male dorms, males can stay in another male’s room through all hours of the night, while females have to be out at a certain time. This represents a double standard based on gender. The administration also sends the message that we are not mature enough to handle inter-gender relationships, even though the state recognizes us as consenting adults.
At the same time as these behavior standards are imposed in unisex dorms, co-ed dorm residents are allowed to have friends of any gender in the same room as long as they are assigned to that building. This is also a double standard. There should be no reason why outside guests aren’t allowed if inside guests are.
Many claim a roommate should not have to go to their resident assistant to report late-night guests. This is an invalid argument. No matter which rule students live under, roommate conflicts over guests can still exist. Why should people have different rules on campus based on where they live?
Personally, I am glad I live off campus and don’t have to deal with curfews. We are college students and should be treated as such. Because TCU rents out its property, it has every right to make stipulations on how we can use that property. It doesn’t, however, give them the right to control our lifestyles.
Furthermore, I wholeheartedly disagree with the idea that once you leave college, life becomes more restrictive. Rules exist in life no matter how old you are, such as a rule against drinking and driving. Once you hit 18, you are no longer a minor and are tried as an adult for crimes. Though you may not be able to drink legally, once you are in college, the rules you have to abide by are the same ones you will have to follow throughout life.
In fact, once you are off campus, life gets a lot less restrictive. I lived on campus for two years and now live off campus and commute to school every day. Life is great once you are out of the restrictive college-dorm bubble.
Thomas Guidry is a junior computer information science major.