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Each year, in the Summer term, a period of (relative) quiet descends on campus as students knuckle down to some serious revision and deadline-inspired diligence. However, I feel that the expectations regarding noise levels that exist during the ‘Quiet Period’, and the consideration towards fellow students that these expectations promote, should ideally be part of a year-round culture of respect for the impact our own behaviour may have on others. I feel that the prevailing attitude on campus is one of ambivalence towards antisocial behaviour that has not been explicitly prohibited.
Moderate noise is unavoidable, and it would be unreasonable of me to expect total silence beyond 9pm. However, I feel that an upper limit of 11pm would be more than fair. In fact, residence handbooks give specific guidelines concerning noise levels, which are recommended to be kept within student bedrooms beyond 11pm and kept to a ‘reasonable level’ at all other times. Granted, my definition of ‘reasonable’ may not (indeed, definitely does not) coincide with that of some of my fellow residents, but I think that to consider screeching down a stairwell or slamming doors at 2am ‘reasonable’ is stretching even the most flexible definition to breaking point. If you are still pre-drinking on campus beyond 11pm, then you are probably too drunk to be safely let loose among the general public anyway. Take a pre-emptive Alka-Seltzer and go to bed.
To be honest, I am genuinely perplexed. Does hollering out of a window really add to the jocularity of the typical night out? Is alcohol metabolised more effectively if drunk whilst pounding a table? Answers on the back of a postcard, please.
The residents’ handbook (which I have read extensively as an alternative soporific) also details rules relating to ‘parties or noisy functions’ held within colleges. It states that these are not permitted without prior permission from the College Dean. However, with the rise of the pre-drinking culture, students are arguably taking ‘party’ practices and applying them in less formal settings with much greater frequency. Perhaps this culture needs to be recognised in the guidelines set out by the residence protocol.
Although not the interpretation some may take from my position here, my intention is not to call a halt to any and all campus tomfoolery, alcohol-fuelled or otherwise. If ever there were a time to go wild in a way that is not fitting for a member of civilised society, it would be within the context of studenthood. I just don’t believe that showing consideration for others when you are heading off on your bender precludes the capacity for having fun on said bender.
Part of being a student is learning how to coexist in harmony with other people, as a community. If those who live off campus behaved in the way that those in Halls often do then they would be more than likely to hear from their landlord, the Council or the Police (as I am sure some do). My point is that although campus may feel like a bubble in which normal social etiquette and civil law are temporarily suspended, this is not the case and we should not behave as if it were. We all need to be tolerant, and I hope I do not appear to be otherwise. After all, as an adherent to the ‘early to bed; early to rise’ principle, I too, have to be mindful or others when I may feel that 7.30am is the perfect time to get up and do a spot of vacuuming.
For the sake of our health and our cohabitation, please, show sleep some respect!