No movies allowed

8 years ago Triangle 0

by Billy Findley
Online Editor

Tim Shetter, the assistant dean of community life, posted a school-wide e-mail on Jan. 18 concerning a revised lounge policy that will be in effect this semester for all dorm lounges. According to the new policy, students are no longer allowed to watch movies or play video games through personal computers or TVs in either the lounge or dorm entryways.

Seniors Elise Bacon, Erin Anthony and Garrett Lemons in Robinson Lounge./Triangle photo by Billy Findley.
Seniors Elise Bacon, Erin Anthony and Garrett Lemons in Robinson Lounge./Triangle photo by Billy Findley.

Residence directors have been somewhat flexible concerning the lounge no-movie policy over the past two years. Students have been allowed to watch movies on personal laptops and occasionally reserve the lounge televisions. For a while, the leniency seemed reasonable, but over time the privilege “morphed,” according to Long Residence Director Matt Williams.

It started with students watching movies on personal laptops, which eventually sprouted to students bringing down their entire computer systems, and finally finished with students bringing down personal televisions and stereo systems for movies and video games.

“The rule hadn’t been broken per se, but I feel like the spirit of it had,” Williams said.

The policy has been put into place for several reasons, according to Shetter. One reason is because the lounges are the only place on campus where students can watch cable TV, besides the Lion’s Den in Latimer. However, Shetter said he also believes that students hold different standards for the appropriateness of movies.

“What may be acceptable for me to watch as a movie may not be acceptable for you,” Shetter said. “Because you deem it okay and it’s shown on a television in the lounge, all of a sudden the college is saying it’s okay.”

As is the case with new rule changes, the new policy has both student supporters and opponents.

Junior Alan Brown said he supports new policy saying this might help prevent groups from “monopolizing” the lounge. He said he was personally confronted with the issue when a group of movie watchers in the Long lounge almost prevented him from being able to watch the college football National Championship.

“My thought is that if you want to watch a movie, you can go to Mercer or Latimer or any other places that don’t have TVs,” said Brown.

However, sophomore Adam Coker said he is not fully in favor of the policy because it makes finding a place to watch movies, especially in mixed-gender groups on non-open dorm nights, frustrating. He also said that while movies do prevent people from being able to watch cable TV, it’s not hugely distracting for people who want to do other things in there like homework.

“Whenever you make a rule, you’re hoping it makes a benefit and gives some structure, but one thing you lose is some flexibility,” Williams said.