by Bailee Jones
Some students say The University of Tampa’s quiet hours are failing them, leaving them frustrated and tired at the mercy of loud dorm halls.
With the hustle and bustle of a booming downtown area just a short walk away and over 200 organizations to enjoy on campus, UT gives their students an amazing opportunity to seek out and develop the social life of their dreams while enjoying luxury amenities in the meantime, with the chance to live in many different styles of housing options, from singles to apartments to a hotel off campus with transportation available.
So, some may ask who is controlling all these young adults? Well, on every floor, no matter the building or living option, there is an RA, resident assistant, who plays mediator and monitor over the students. One tool the RA’s have to try and accomplish a peaceful and harmonious living environment for all residents are quiet hours, these are times throughout the day where residences must maintain a level of heightened silence for respect of all around them.
According to the University of Tampa’s website “Quiet hours are in effect from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. on weeknights and 1 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.” Even with the rules of quiet hours and general dorm living protocol, being readily available online, reiterated through many posters and bulletin boards throughout campus, it still doesn’t seem to be enough for some to stay out of the danger zone.
Suzi Jinnett, a sophomore biology major, has been dealing with loud neighbors since nearly the first day of school. “While the rules are there, there seems to be little to no reinforcements to instill them,” said Jinnett. “It honestly seems like there even is a lack of respect between neighbors that makes the issue worse.”
One of the biggest hurdles students are told they’re going to face when coming to college is the readjustment to dorm life, and for some students, it’s the first time they have experienced this type of shift. Jinnett also said, “Back home I only live with one sister and my parents, I’ve never had to share a room or anything, then I came here, and my living situation was almost dominated by how other people wanted to live, it was definitely hard in the beginning.”
Angelina Yearwood, an RA in the Vaughn Center, said, “Generally speaking, quiet hours are effective. There will always be a few residents here and there who consistently disregard quiet hours, but if an RA builds strong relationships with his/her residents, quiet hours are almost always effective.”
Another type of living environment UT has established, has been to offer students with the chance of receiving the type of dorm experience they want, while having an area of housing restricted for people who want to be part of the Living Well Community. The UT website describes the community as “An opportunity for students who prefer to live in a quieter community where the effects of alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs are minimized as much as possible.”
Juliana Walter, freshman journalism major, lives alongside the Live Well Community but isn’t involved in it. “My roommate and I are definitely the loud neighbors. We’re always playing loud music at all times of the day and constantly having people over,” said Walter.
Walter also said, “We mostly hang out in our dorm before going out, but most of the time we’re still here (and being loud) until like 10:30. It’s honestly just better to be in your own room. We love having people over and having fun. But even if we aren’t going out, we play loud music cause we just love dancing and goofing off together.”
Being college students, many of the residents at UT often have tight funds and little spending money. Some hang out and have social gatherings in their dorms, since the downtown area can be expensive. “It’s expensive, going out, and I’m trying to make it here on my own and not always be asking my parents for money. Going to a club cost money I don’t have and staying in my dorm is free, loud or not,” said Walter.
While it’s clear UT is aware of the difference in living styles of its students and working towards a compromise for all, Yearwood said “We don’t try to make everyone happy. Instead, we try to find the best solution for creating a tolerable living environment that ensures the mental and physical wellbeing of the residents. Ideally, we work towards creating positive relationships between roommates, but every now and then we have to remind ourselves and our residents that life is not perfect and in ‘the real world’ people compromise.”
Bailee Jones can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org