Helmer, Robert



Sex in dorms

605 words

Headline: Keep your pants on

Headline: Keep your pants on, it’s college policy

Headline: Please keep all undergarments securely fastened

College is a time for new experiences and, because most students spend at least two semesters living in on-campus residence halls, dorm life is central to the college oddest.

For most freshmen, living in a dormitory is their first time living away from home and out from under the scrutiny of parents. It’s a time for them to learn about themselves

College is also a time for exploring sexuality. Without parental scrutiny, freshmen can set their own hours, see whom they want and do what they feel - except in a university residence hall.

According to the CMSU Handbook, “sexual activities in the Residence Halls” are listed under “Actions Detrimental to Others and to the University” and are prohibited. Also on the list are assault, creating a fire hazard, rioting and possessing explosives.

Regulations forbidding sexual activities may harken back to a time when residence halls were strictly segregated by gender, visitors of the opposite sex were restricted to specified visitors’ hours, and female students were required to abide by a curfew.

According to former community adviser Liz Parker, the rule may serve to reduce conflict between roommates forced to share close quarters.

Vice-President of Student Affairs takes credit for what he jokingly admits is occasionally referred to as ‘Hicklin’s Rule.’ The wording may seem a bit dated, he says, but the idea behind it isn’t.

He uses the example of two girls (but said male roommates have the same problems): one from a more conservative, rural community and the other from a more liberal urban home.

“One of these young ladies has a boyfriend. The boyfriend decides he’s going to sleep in their room all the time,” he begins, “only he’s not just going to sleep there, if you understand what I’m saying. And three feet away is student from a very sheltered home.

“You know what’s going to happen; mom and dad are going to call and raise hell with me.”

Some notable figures such as radio host Dr. Laura Schlesinger have decried the phenomenon know as “sexile” where one roommate is frequently left homeless while the other entertains a guest. Having a conflict with a roommate can really hurt the college experience, Hicklin explained, saying that about a week into the school year the university is hit with a wave of students who are homesick, unhappy and want to go home. One of his jobs in Student Affairs is to help students get through the rough period.

“We’re trying to be the transition between a student in his own, private room at home to living with other people,” Hicklin said, “[Students are] learning how to get along with roommates and others.”

Although roommate troubles can have serious consequences on a student’s success, even Hicklin had a hard time keeping a straight face at some points in the interview.

“Now, I don’t care what they go in their bathrooms or alone,” he clarified.

Hicklin does feel, however, that CA s should be able to talk to roommates about this in their halls, because individual students, who want to be liked and make friends, are not likely to confront their roommates on their own.

Hicklin says that this year’s edition of the student handbook went to press before he could change the rule, but he plans to eliminate it before next year’s handbook is printed.

“We threw it in there as a catch-all that gives CA s the right to talk to them,” Hicklin said, “I don’t think anyone has ever been prosecuted or disciplined under that particular rule. It’s a stupid rule that probably needs to come out.”

The Political Science Students’ Association will be hosting a discussion of university policies including those governing the residence halls on Wed. September 19. The meeting begins at 3:30 in Wood 003b.