Each new school year brings many changes to rules and policies SSU students have to follow when living on campus. A difference this year within residential life comes within the topic of quiet hours and community living.
Beginning in September the on-campus housing quiet hours were changed to 2 a.m. – 10 a.m., meaning students are expected to keep noise at a respectful level during those hours. Prior to the current semester the quiet hours were from 12 a.m. - 10 a.m.
Some may question the reasoning behind these extended hours or the intended goal of the changed policy. This policy spurred from a new message that Residential Life is trying to instill in its residents; creating a civil minded and respectful community.
Changing the quiet hours initially came from the idea and goal of building community within residential life as well as giving residents the new responsibility and tools to handle conflict amongst each other. This new policy ultimately gives residents more time and new resources so that they can get to know their neighbors and roommates better.
“Do our quiet hours get in the way of community building?” said Cyndi Morozumi, director of residential life, in regards to the initial idea of changing the quiet hours. This was the first question that initiated the discussion on how different quiet hours would improve community building and promote inclusiveness on campus.
A goal that Residential Life had for the new school year was to change the way residents connect and bond with each other. One process that has been changed in correspondence with the quite hours is suitemate agreements. In prior semesters residents completed the agreements immediately upon moving in.
This semester, residents take roughly four weeks as a “honeymoon” period to get to know their roommates and take time to see each other’s habits and lifestyles. After that time is over is when residents sit down with CSAs and create an agreement.
Eloy Camacho, a fourth year student and a CSA in Beaujolais Village, was initially skeptical of the new quiet hours and the change it would bring to campus.
“Initially, I had many hesitations about the new quiet hours change. Each year that I have been a CSA, quiet hours have constantly been an issue with residents. So of course, my first instinct was to oppose the change,” said Camacho.
“However, I personally have not had too many issues with the new policy - it’s still very early to give a full evaluation but I hope that residents will take this as an opportunity to respect their neighbors and to prepare for the expectations that are in place in apartment complexes and neighborhoods once they move off campus.”
This change is intended to prevent potential conflict because residents have already gotten to know each other and recognize each other’s lifestyles.
Residential Life is also making it a priority for not only the suite to get to know each other, but also neighbors, entire buildings and villages.
“Different from last semester, we have shifted our focus to community building, building good citizens and creating a civil minded and respectful community within Residential Life,” said Morozumi.
Freshmen appear to be the most affected by this policy change of quiet hours. Upperclassmen living on campus were already accustomed to the original quiet hours that begin at midnight so the change of hours had little or no effect.
“The new policy keeps students from going off campus at late hours. It is also nice to be able to do what you want on campus later at night and it keeps people accountable for their actions as well without having to get CSAs involved,” said freshman Alix Parkhurst.
Overall, the responses to the new hours that administration has received from students and faculty have been positive. However, this semester serves as a trial period for the new quiet hours, so it is not guaranteed that the hours will be the same in the spring.