The current on-campus housing regulations are too severe and should be relaxed to match those at other schools.
As someone who is living in on-campus housing, I recognize the many pros to living in a place where someone cleans my bathroom, and I do not have to worry about getting stuck in traffic on my way to class. However, there are some things that come with living on-campus I do not agree with, such as the many regulations concerning appliances and animals.
Looking at the housing handbooks of Texas State, the University of Texas at Austin, Texas Tech University, Texas A&M University and Baylor University, it becomes clear rules are not the same everywhere.
For example, UNT, Tech and A&M allow microwaves if they are under a specific wattage. Other universities, including Texas State, do not allow microwaves in the dorm rooms. This is particularly frustrating for on-campus dwellers whose buildings may have only one kitchen or a single janky microwave.
A few weeks ago, the kitchen in my hall was closed entirely due to people not taking responsibility for their dirty dishes, therefore punishing all of us. I was up late studying one night and since the dining halls were closed, I went to the kitchen to cook a microwave meal only to find that it was closed, and I could not use the microwave. If I was allowed to have my own microwave, this would not have been as irritating as it was.
I do understand that some of these appliances can be fire hazards, but in all honesty, living is a fire hazard. It is dangerous to be alive, but that does not mean that over-the-top regulations should be enforced in order to avoid something that honestly, probably will not happen. Many modern day appliances are made with that fire hazard in mind and are more fireproof than they used to be.
Some universities do not allow string lights to be hung up in the room or anywhere else. This is saddening because string lights are a gorgeous decorating choice and provide low light throughout the whole room rather than having one bright light on at all times. Fortunately, Texas State does allow these. My roommate and I love having the string lights because it allows one of us to stay up and work while the other sleeps. Depriving students of this opportunity stifles their creativity.
Rules against pets are an even bigger annoyance. I understand that we cannot all have dogs and cats and birds running around the buildings. Many college students also simply do not have the time nor the funds to properly care for such a lovable creature. However, only allowing fish is ridiculous. There are many other relatively low-maintenance, mess-free pet options such as turtles, frogs and lizards. I would personally love a small turtle buddy. Restricting pet options to fish limits students who want a pet that is a little more interactive.
Dorm regulations have their place. I understand that. But some changes need to be made to accommodate students’ needs, desires and freedoms. A microwave and a turtle would make all the difference in the world to a dorm-dweller such as myself.