As an adult on a college campus, though there are values to uphold, is it fair to put restrictions on students that ultimately benefit no one and hinder community building?
Upon the first week of moving in on campus, I remember having a meeting in the lobby to learn the rules of dorm living. Among these rules were things such as not allowing candles, extension cords and not hanging posters which would damage the walls. While these rules were fairly self-explanatory and reasonable, there was one in particular that I never thought I would take issue with: curfew.
On weekdays, the opposite gender is only allowed in the dorms (excluding lobbies) between the hours of 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., and on the weekends between noon and midnight. I thought this wouldn’t be too bad.
But then small issues began arising. When playing card games in the second-floor lobby of Engstrom, the girl’s floor, we would have to stop our game and move downstairs because there were males playing with us. When sitting in a friends room, we would plan the latest we could start a movie with time to finish it before we had to be out of the room.
As a person agreeing to live on campus and abide by the rules of living here, I entirely understand the school’s attempt to uphold their beliefs and ideals. As a Christian school, ideas about premarital sexual relations should remain forbidden, but how does a curfew solve that problem? Like it or not, there are going to be people who do what they want, and a simple curfew is not going to stop them.
Furthermore, why should all students have to pay the price for the few who cannot follow the student guidelines? The official reason for why curfew exists is for respect of one’s roommate, but this raises two problems.
First and foremost, if administration is worried about when a roommate will want to sleep, then curfew should not be a gender issue but a visitation one, and there should be room checks where everyone must be in their own room by a certain time.
The APU handbook itself says, “In all such personal issues, we commit to discipling our students with discretion, sensitivity, discernment, grace, and truth so that as they steward their sexuality and expressions of intimacy, students make decisions based on historical biblical values.” This leads me to believe we should be trusted to make the decision for ourselves.
Secondly, this rule assumes that as eighteen-year-old (and older) adults, we cannot have conversations with our roommates about when we can and cannot have visitors.
“Why, at nineteen years old, can I not be trusted to establish between my roommate and myself when to and when not to have other people in our room?” asked freshman accounting major Andrew Van Sant.
It is possible for roommates to still be up making noise without someone of the opposite gender being involved. This is not a decision that should be made for us. As adults, we should be able to communicate with our own roommates to decide when visitors are allowed.
Especially in the wake of the lift on the policy of same-sex relationships on campus, how does the school plan to prevent premarital relations from occurring if people of the same gender can be in the same room regardless of the hour? This either needs to become a rule on visitation or disappear entirely. Curfew is merely for show and doesn’t help anyone.
There are so many other options to solve these problems. If they truly are worried about us, then after a certain time they should consider an open-door policy, where you can be together past curfew so long as you leave the door open.
From what I understand of the rules imposed by housing, curfew is an expectation that helps students create habits of responsibility and accountability that will be expected of them in any area of life. While this is a respectable and understandable point, I believe allowing us, as adults, to make that judgment call for ourselves will help us learn more about consequences than imposing rules ever will.
Having someone of the opposite gender on your floor at 10:01 p.m. has no significance on whether or not you will have a successful future. To force that association where there is none is egregious and rude.
I understand that schools have a status and code to uphold. I respect the morals and beliefs as a Christian school that we must stand for or against. I believe and agree with the same sentiments. However, wanting to sit with friends of mixed company to watch a movie at 11 p.m. on a Thursday does not make me any worse of a Christian.
“If the purpose of curfew is to respect one’s quiet time, it does a good job of doing so,” said freshman allied health major Laura Martin. “But if it is to stop couples from inappropriate premarital relations, then it is not successful.”
These rules do not stand to benefit anyone. Those who want to break them will do so regardless of the curfew. Innocent people who lose track of time are being punished with little reason. The curfew causes tension between resident advisors (RAs) and their halls, creating a lack of trust that no community wants.
Curfew has long overstayed its welcome in our lives. It is time for some type of change. Change where universities trust students, RAs trust their halls and students trust each other. Mutual respect, learning to communicate and taking responsibility will teach students invaluable lessons they can take with them for the real world. We’re adults. Let us hold ourselves accountable.
It’s past your curfew.