By Marissa Bean
What sound do you like to hear when you’re falling asleep?
Maybe the sound of the TV lulls you into a deep sleep every night. If you’re like me, you might listen to your roommate talk herself to sleep. But the best sound? Silence.
In a college dorm, silence is a rare but treasured commodity. You’re surrounded by many people who come and go all day, and of course you don’t expect them to be silent at all times.
In order to preserve the gift of silence, residence halls have quiet hours each night. During this time, you are to be quiet, as the name suggests. No loud music, no shouting matches with your roommates, no playing a game of basketball in your tiny room.
Quiet hours are put in place so that students can do homework in peace or go to sleep. College is stressful, and we all need time do get things done or get some extra hours of rest.
Sadly, in many residence halls, these quiet hours are loosely enforced. An RA might ask you to turn down your music, and if you do they’ll leave you alone. Even if you don’t, they still might not come back to your door.
I’ve seen (and definitely heard) plenty of examples of quiet hours not being enforced, and I’m not the only one.
“The beginning of quiet hours isn’t the problem,” Sarah L., a sophomore, recalled, “The problem is when everyone comes in at 3 in the morning, making a lot of noise, laughing and slamming the doors.” She never heard an RA ask them to quiet down, despite the amount of noise being made in the middle of the night.
At bedtime last year, I would have to hear the sounds of my neighbors, none of whom ever learned the meaning of using their indoor voice. More often then not, they were performing cartwheels in the hallway. Of course, none of this ever occurred down the hall or in their rooms; it happened right in front of my door at the worst possible times.
Only once did I hear an RA ask them to settle down; specifically, she asked them to not do cartwheels in the hallway. She never said anything about being quiet.
This sends the wrong messages to the other students. If one group is allowed to be as loud as they want, whenever they want, everyone else can too. If this one rule isn’t enforced, why should the other ones be practiced?
Quiet hours appear to be a myth: there are no quiet hours. If you want to be loud, be loud. No one’s going to tell you to quiet down.
Marissa Bean is a contributor to The Comment. Editor-in-Chief Kayla Lemay edited this story. Follow her on Twitter @klemay123 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.