Is Anybody Out There?

Over the summer, without informing any residents, the “powers that be” decided that all windows in campus residence halls were to be bolted shut.

Thus, students were to be forced to breathe the stale air coming from the vents and to be shut off from that fresh Florida air we enjoy in the fall.

I don’t remember ever receiving any notification of this policy change. Maybe no one thought that residents would be concerned, but that’s not the case.

As I moved into my room in Brevard in August, I was shocked when I noticed that opening my window was impossible.

For me this was a huge deal. I hate air conditioning. For the past three years, I have always controlled the climate of my room with the window being open. On the occasional oppressively hot days, I would succumb to the comforts of the AC. Otherwise, it was kept off.

Now that the weather has cooled off, however, I am prohibited from getting a comfortable night of sleep with a cool breeze blowing into my room.

ResLife is also cracking down on students decorating their windows with any kind of holiday decorations, native flags or hearts.

First we couldn’t open our windows, now our new wall space cannot be decorated.

I understand that there are some less-than-intelligent people that come to UT, and these people have a tendency to ruin everything for the rest of us because they will put up a Miller Lite sign or rather comically add an “SL” to their window to complement their neighbor’s “UT” writing (we all know you can’t spell “slut” without “UT”).

But, why should everyone be punished when students that attend UT don’t even have a say of who is let in? But with the no-writing policy it seems that UT does not want it to look like anybody lives in the dorm rooms.

Personally, I think that displaying flags or Greek letters in your window makes it appear like we actually live on a college campus.

One solution to the window problem that has been discussed is having a board comprised of ResLife staff members, RHA officers and RAs to approve any window displays before a student can display something in a window.

This would prohibit any offensive displays from going up while potentially raising school spirit. Also, it might actually allow visitors to campus to think that students are living in the dorms, since it will be obvious from the outside.

This will help create the feeling of community that is emphasized so often in Residence Life. After all, we are not even supposed to think of our halls as “dorms,” because a dorm is only where you sleep. A residence hall is supposed to be where you live and play as well.

To o many decisions here at UT seem to be made by “the powers that be” instead of by those whom they actually affect – the students.

This problem is made worse by students’ lack of participation in discussion of issues concerning campus.

Students need to be more allowed in the development of rules and regulations, such as window sealing, and students need to be more willing to be involved in these decisions.

I understand that a lot of people find the clean-and-tidiness of campus to be aesthetically pleasing, but my idea of a college campus is one in which students can express themselves and add to atmosphere without fear of repercussions from the administration.

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