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Why I hate parietals

Eileen Duffy | Friday, October 1, 2004

I hate parietals. No, I don’t have a significant other on campus and no, parietals are not restraining my sex life – but I do believe that parietals have altered my college career in an extremely negative way.

First of all, they don’t work. I don’t think I’m letting out any secret here. Not only are Notre Dame students penalized quite often for parietals infractions, but I’ve seen many a person get away with it. If I wanted to spend the night in a guys’ dorm, I could – side entrances can be opened from the inside in the middle of the night, and not going to the bathroom for seven hours isn’t that difficult. Or so I’ve heard.

Although they can be easily broken, I would now like to discuss why the inconvenience of parietals ought to be abolished. I will start with the sibling argument. I can’t believe that this University would force my roommate’s innocent, freckled-face 11-year-old brother to sleep in a strange boys’ dorm during a visit. Really, Notre Dame, he is not going to have sex with anybody, and I highly doubt his presence would bother any of the other girls in our dorm. Plus, I think sleeping on the futon in his sister’s clean room (as opposed to some of the other frighteningly disgusting guys’ rooms I’ve seen) would probably be a healthier environment.

Next up: The off-campus argument. Notre Dame cares a lot about entertaining its students on campus, and about keeping them in the dorms.

The endless array of SUB movies, Flipside events and dorm happenings are evidence to that. However, when a co-ed group is enjoying itself together, especially on a weeknight, the dreaded parietals inevitably force this group to move off-campus for continued coed fun in a relaxed atmosphere.

As much as I like playing foosball with my guy friends in the glaring light of the 24-hour lounges, I’d probably rather be sitting in a private dorm room, listening to music and chatting. Which brings me to my final (and most important) argument: Parietals hinder healthy relationships with members of the opposite sex. I’m not referring to sexual relations at all. I’m talking about friendships.

A person lets down his guard in the comfortable surrounding of his dorm room. Once the makeup, nice clothes and party atmosphere are gone, there remains just the person, flaws and all. Plus, to develop a good friendship or relationship, sometimes a late-night dorm room chat (not on a bench outside, or in Recker’s, or in LaFortune) is necessary – and I don’t see why that must be limited to members of the same sex.

I would just like to watch a movie with my friends on, say, a Tuesday night. I don’t see why it should matter that they are male.