New rules regulate sexual activity in dormitory rooms
By Ellen Kan
Published: Thursday, September 24, 2009
Updated: Sunday, September 27, 2009
elsey Marie Bell / Tufts Daily
There are lots of things roommates fight over ó sharing food, where dirty clothes go and how loud to play music, to name a few. But a new university policy is looking to preempt conflicts that can arise over when itís alright to engage in sexual activity.
The Office of Residential Life and Learning (ResLife) has added a new stipulation to its guest policy that prohibits any sex act in a dorm room while one's roommate is present. The stipulation further states that any sexual activity in the room should not interfere with a roommate's privacy, study habits or sleep.
ResLife's Assistant Director for Community and Judicial Affairs Carrie Ales-Rich explained that the change comes as a result of an annual review of residential policies that examines the previous year's trends.
ResLife received a significant number of complaints last year from residents bothered by their roommates' sexual behavior. Ales-Rich said that this was one of the most commonly cited sources of conflict between roommates.
"There were incidents that occurred last year, and in the past, where residents of rooms started to feel uncomfortable with what their roommates were doing in the room," Ales-Rich said. "This happened more often than we'd like."
The sex policy, Ales-Rich said, is intended as a tool to facilitate conversation and compromise between roommates, rather than simply proscribe behavior. Ales-Rich emphasized that ResLife hopes students will be able to resolve the issues on their own instead of allowing conflicts to reach a point at which the office has to intervene.
"We want to make perfectly clear that we do not want to hinder someone from engaging in any personal or private activity," she said. "But when it becomes uncomfortable for the roommate, we want to have something in place that empowers the residents to have a good conversation with the roommate."