An age-old criticism from new students at Andrews University is curfew. They can’t *help* but question why 11 p.m. should be the mandatory check-in time for freshmen students. Why shouldn’t they? If you ask *me*, students could use more liberties with their curfew.
For one thing, the evening presents the opportunity for students to get to know their peers outside of class. *I* wouldn’t have made the friends I did if I hadn’t spent much of my free time hanging out with others, so when I was a freshman, I loathed having to return to the dorm at 11 p.m. every evening. Now that I *am* older, though, I’ve almost forgotten what it felt to be corralled into Meier Hall. But I haven’t forgotten what it’s like to feel trapped somewhere.
Apart from the freedom to socialize, there are also things that happen out of town that require a later curfew, such as seeing the latest movie. *Being* a fan of many movies that are coming out these days, I understand the desire to see them as soon as possible, rather than waiting until the next weekend. But since the nearest theaters are almost half an hour away, seeing a movie usually means returning to campus belatedly (especially if the movie *detained* the students for longer than usual).
Some students are *against* the control their dormitory has over them. Many people don’t like being told what to do, or feeling watched by their dormitory. Who would? It’s similar to being held hostage, not that I’d know much about that. If there were more freedom allowed, then that could improve how students feel about their dorm’s authority over them. In *my* opinion, this is unlikely to change, because the dormitory is responsible for the students’ safety.
This is not to say that the system *will* never change, but there are many steps involved in making any revisions. Someone would have to devise a new set of rules, one that pleases both the students and the staff. Then, the new rules would have to be presented to administrators with the support needed to convince them that change is needed. Though I am skeptical that this would succeed, *in* the off chance that it did, that would be an incredible day for dorm students.
But any plan that satisfies everyone involved would have to be well thought out. There are more reasons besides accountability behind the university’s policy regarding *the* curfew. Students are encouraged to live a healthy lifestyle, and part of that includes getting an adequate amount of sleep every night. The fact that older residents can arrive even later than 11 p.m. is a testament to the freedom that the dorms provide, despite the emphasis on taking care of the body. That’s something to look forward to once you’re no longer a freshman *student*, and too many people take it for granted—some of us wish we were still allowed outside.
Curfew is just one of many topics that students, particularly new ones, occasionally take issue with. Co-curricular credits and meal plans are also the subject of debate, but rarely does anyone has the dedication to lead a *movement* to reform these. Part of the reason is that there are bigger problems to tackle in our lives, like being stuck in a situation you just can’t get out of. Yet every now and then someone will come along and help change these simple aspects of campus—replacing water fountains, remodeling the laundry rooms of the residence halls, etc. Maybe the next AUSA president to take *office* will run on a platform that promises a new curfew system.
*An article from the April Fool's Issue. Don't take anything in this issue too seriously.