o much for the old “neckties and socks” on the doorknob to warn off roommates, said Jacques Steinberg in The New York Times. Responding to “a significant number of complaints” from dorm residents last year, Tufts University is banning students from performing “any sex act” in a dorm room when a roommate is present (Watch CNN news report).
It also banned “what the students call ‘sexile,’” said Wendy Atterberry in The Frisky, or exiling your roommate when “you want to get busy”—something "I wish my alma mater" had done. Still, infringements on your privacy, study time, and sleep are “sort of a rite of passage in college,” and “just how they plan to enforce these rules is anyone’s guess.”
The new sex rules have "little to do with actual enforcement,” said Tufts psychologist Sam Sommers in Psychology Today, “and everything to do with making clear what should have been self-evident to obliviously inconsiderate roommates.” Questions remain—like is this really the university’s business, and is sex with a roommate "now against the rules as well?”—but since “public decency” is clearly lacking among today’s students, “good for us, I say.”
Yes, Tufts is “only upholding common courtesy,” said The Boston Globe in an editorial. “College may be a time for experimentation”—and some students will “take umbrage” at the administration's acting “in loco parentis”—but “even the most open-minded” student might welcome such “unambiguous guidelines” if they have a thoughtless roommate.
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