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Pointless parietals

Laura Laws | Wednesday, January 25, 2012

One of my most special talents is complaining. This may seem like a worthless skill. However, when paired with my natural ability to argue, it has continually proven to be an effective way to A.) cause worthwhile change and/or B.) entertain and/or C.) annoy people to no end.

Luckily for you, loyal Observer reader, you will get a taste of my mastery in the following 500 words. I could rant about virtually any topic, but today I get to pick my subject off of my personal “Things to Complain About” list. And the subject is: parietals. (For the trivia knowledge of the reader, other things on the List include sloppy drunk girls, eating too much food, design projects going past 3 a.m. and the fact that my boyfriend is allergic to dogs.)

Parietals are pretty much the most frustrating rules on campus. They cause so many unnecessary problems and solve so few.

Parietals impede friendships. Some of my best friends are guys. I hang out with my group of guy friends and my boyfriend (who is also my best friend) more than I do my female friends. It’s the worst feeling to have to leave the fun at 2 a.m., knowing that they’ll be up for another couple hours. Sometimes what I miss makes me the one who didn’t know an inside joke.

In order to follow the rules and still hang out, we have to move to a 24-hour area. The 24-hour space does not satisfy since everyone has to filter out. There are not room and televisions for everyone. One group or a few couples is all those rooms can manage.

Parietals push the tendency to see a person of the opposite sex only as a potential date. Of course people can and often do overcome this tendency, but that every girl has to leave the guys’ dorms at that certain time effects the way we relate to each other mentally and outside of ourselves.

Whether or not the school keeps this rule to prevent students from sleeping or sleeping together, that stigma is there. When co-eds have to leave, it highlights that we are different sexes with the potential of being together, instead of simply being human who can be friends. And this encourages a wall of that thinking between the men and women of Notre Dame.

Parietals negatively affect schoolwork as well. I’m one of those people who stays up late doing homework. My female friends are usually better about time management than my guy friends and get to sleep by midnight. I want to stay where people are working still, because it keeps me awake.

When everyone is sleeping around me, all I can think about is going to bed. But alas, I must leave the guys, so work often only gets half-finished because I fall asleep on it.

Though fellow students and I have speculated on why parietals continue to exist, we haven’t been able to figure it out. What do you guys think the reasons are? If I find the right person to ask, I’ll be sure to let you know.

Contact Laura Laws at


The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.