Just saying: A student’s evolving thoughts on open dorm

“I never liked open dorm. In fact, I wished there would be less open dorm.” (Photo by Stephany Reyes.)

By Ronna Fisher, Assistant Editor

I never liked open dorm. In fact, I wished there would be less open dorm.

There’s nothing worse then walking down your hallway unawares, listening to the high-pitched giggling of your friends and peers when all of a sudden your ears are bombarded with a baritone voice. If you’re like me (which most people aren’t), for a couple of seconds your mind races, bewildered. “Was that a guys voice?! Why is there a guy here? Where is he?” Then you remember that it is open dorm, and he is allowed to be on your floor.

Also, there’s always that awkward moment when you forget that it is open dorm and you happen to pass a guy with clean or dirty launder, unmentionables embarrassingly hanging out. Girls, you know what I’m talking about.

You can see why I was never a fan of open dorm, but lately my opinion has begun to sway.

I’ve never had that many guy friends, but recently my circle of friends has widened. Maybe male maturity is finally catching up to mine . . . but probably not. In any case, I have found myself utilizing open dorm much more frequently.

Now that I’ve crossed over into the dark side of dual-gender friendships, I am finding open dorm not quite satisfactory. On the weekends, 10:00 pm is just not late enough. For instance, on the night of Twirp, at the end of all the festivities, my friends and I wanted to watch a movie. By then, open dorm was over and the lobbies were all claimed. We scrambled around for another cinematically-favorable pad.

Another night a group of us was doing homework in one of the Hills lobbies. A couple of students came up asking if they could watch a movie. We didn’t want to be rude, so we said yes. Sure, we can watch a movie and do homework. The movie ended up being something that none of us were truly enjoying. We decided to disband our group. The library was already closed, and we couldn’t go to anyone’s suite.

There have been multiple times that me or one of my friends has climbed the stairs or taken the elevator multiple times searching for an empty lobby to watch a movie or do homework to simply find each floor completely occupied.

I understand why open dorm must be restricted. It is easier to hold people accountable if there is a specific time that open dorm can be monitored. Girls and guys have a right to privacy on their halls and in their suites. Students deserve to be able to walk down their hallways without worrying about running into a member of the opposite sex.

Perhaps I am just beginning to feel the tugs of independence and adulthood. Maybe this is a pointless rant. Perhaps, you’ll say, I should live somewhere else next year if I am going to continue complaining. But, I have had this strange change in Open Dorm ideology. Either open dorm needs to be structured in a more flexible way or there needs to be a change in the lack of “hanging out” places in the evenings safely on campus. Just saying.

I hate to say this, but I don’t have the solutions. What do you think? Do you wish open dorm was more flexible? Do you wish there was less open dorm? Do you have any suggestions for places for late night movie watching or study sessions? Do you find the lack of DVD players in the Hills lobbies as frustrating as I do? Does my incessant questioning annoy you?

Let me know by commenting below!

  1. As an older male in Snowbarger I feel that open dorm is a waste of time. There are very few if any females here and the restrictions on when we as residents can shower are pointless. I feel that if guys from Snow want open dorm they can walk to the Hills. It is inconvenient for 99% of Snows population for a single girl to be here for 3 hours 5 nights a week.

  2. One night while living in Hatley, *gasp* I know, My friends and I wanted to watch a movie after the open dorm hours. I had an Isuzu Rodeo at the time and we all climbed in the back with pillows and blankets and watched the movie on my laptop. It was a small group, so it worked. Just an idea..