You don't want to know what's going on in there.

"You don't want to know what's going on in there."

We all know what it is. One moment you’re chillin’ in your room, pretending to be asleep and the next you’re just trying to block out the sounds of your roommate and the random girl he brought back going at it. Out of a sick combination of embarrassment, fear, and just plain disgust you don’t announce your presence to the bed across the room that’s pounding away like a jackhammer on the wall. Why he didn’t think her caterwauling wouldn’t wake you up is anyone’s guess, but closing your eyes only made it louder. The images that run through your head as you lay there, praying for the fire alarm to go off or the bed to fall apart, are unavoidable. And horrific. The guy you just met, the guy you have to share this rectangular prison with for the rest of the year, has decided to turn it into his own bachelor pad. And you’re just part of the furniture.

Such is Edwin’s story, a University of Massachusetts, Amherst freshman. He, along with thousands of college students across the country, has to deal with the peculiar condition of being sexiled in their own room – forced to share the small space not only with someone they hardly know but also that person’s booty call for the night.

“I was angry, really angry. I still am. He never even gave me a heads up! Even at 2 in the morning, a heads up is just common courtesy,” Edwin said. When asked why he didn’t confront his roommate or talk to his RA after the situation, he wasn’t sure what to do. “I just met the guy a few weeks ago. How do I talk to him about his sex life? It’s just awkward. About as awkward as I felt when he was with the girl.” And frankly he’s right. How do you broach that subject?

Tufts University has recently banned sex with a roommate present. Yes, banned. Not sex in general, just sex with an unwilling third party (not to be confused with threesomes). After years of complaints, Tufts decided to take action on behalf of students and their shared space, eliminating the uncomfortable conversation Edwin must eventually have. The thought behind the new rule is not to limit the students’ sex lives – as compared to Gordon College’s policy, which states that “Visitors of the opposite gender will be permitted in the living rooms and kitchen areas, and the bedrooms with bedroom doors fully open, during the following hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-midnight. No individual, student or nonstudent is to be in an apartment of members of the opposite gender at hours other than these.” The Tufts administrators consider it akin to the universal ‘quiet hours’ rule that all students must follow, and part of ‘common courtesy.’ However, this rule is always broken, and an interruption of quiet hours is far less awkward than a roommate who brings home a new booty call every weekend.

And unfortunately for Edwin, Tufts is the only university with such a rule.


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October 2009
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