Flagler needs to realize its students aren’t kids

By Ant Perrucci | gargoyle@flagler.edu

The time has come for Flagler College to re-think its policies on dorm life.

More to the point, the time has come and gone. It was called the 1960s.

Despite the college’s rules, the outside world has tested the practicality and feasibility of men and women in close quarters, and the outside world has realized that it’s really not a big deal.

Flagler’s dorm rules are archaic and needlessly repressive. To explicitly forbid male and female students to enter each other’s living spaces is to treat adult men and women like children.

College students, nearly all of whom are over the age of 18, are old enough to decide who their friends are and how they want to spend time with them.

So much of college life takes place outside of the classroom that to limit male-female interaction borders on the tyrannical. If Joe and Susan want to study in their dorms instead of the often-closed library, or sit around talking and playing video games to unwind after a test, it’s no business of the college’s.

Flagler has stood firm on its position that young men and women simply can’t be trusted around one another without supervision. But we are already voting with our feet, moving out of the dorms at first chance into apartments in nearby Lincolnville. And those of us that move in with members of the opposite sex aren’t worse off for the experience. In fact, the opposite is true.

Living with a member of the opposite sex is an invaluable learning experience. A male student whose only experience living with a woman is his mother or sister ought to find out what it’s like when he can’t take a shower because the bathroom’s in use. A young woman should get used to dealing with dirty living rooms and dishes piling up in the sink.

At some point, many of us are going to get married. These issues are going to pop up. Think of it as a free lesson in how to deal with the opposite sex.

Flagler’s dorm policies are clearly in place to prevent students from having sex. But it’s none of the college’s business what its students do behind closed doors. We may be students, but we’re consenting adults.

Flagler’s insistence on treating us like we can’t be trusted is giving us a bad name. We’re not asking to live together in the dorms. The dorms are the college’s property, and it’s their call.

All we want is to hang out with friends in our own space. Not all of us have the money to pay rent. It brings no harm to anyone to allow us to spend time with one another.

Flagler needs to change its mind and its policies and start treating us like grown-ups.

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