Living In The Msub Dorms

**Dorm Living**
The area of life that I am going to be looking at is living in the Montana State University Billings dormitories. This is something that people might do when they first enter college to be closer to campus and have a place to live if they are from out of town. It is also a way as well to leave the parent's house without living completly independant.The dorms is a large building with a lot of rooms that only college students can live in. The rooms include a bed, a desk, and a sink. The MSUB dorms also provide community showers, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and a cafeteria. Along with the cost of living in the dorms, the residents get internet, cable, and a phone line. The purpose of the dorms is to provide a place for full time students to live and study while they are attending the university.
Rules And Regulations On Site
There are many controls, rules, regulations, and obligations that apply to the residents of the dormitories. I walked around the dorms and saw a few signs that told some of the things that were not allowed. Located inside the front doors there is a front desk that requires residents to check all of their guests into before they can visit their room. There is a sign above the hand scanner that states, “All guests must check-in prior to entering”. The rule on who can or cannot enter is that they must be 18 or older and have an identification card of some form with their picture on it. If they are not 18 or older then they must fill out a consent form to enter.
Another rule that was made very apparent everywhere that I went was NO SMOKING. There were signs on every floor that said this and even before you walk into the doors of the dorms a sign states “this is a designated non smoking area”. There was another sign that was posted before entering the dorms and on every floor that stated “No Solicitation”. This is to protect the residents from having strangers enter the dorms and from sales people bothering them in their rooms.Finally, students who live in the dorms are mandatory to purchase one of the four available meal plans in the cafeteria. The cost of them are almost the same but the disposytion vary according to student's needs.
Rules Made Clear On MSUB Website
There is a deposit fee of 75$ when residents first move in that they will get back if they have taken care of their room To have a single room (a room to oneself) it will cost 1825$ a year and to have a double room (a room with a roommate) it costs 1445$ a year. To be allowed to live in the dorms a student must be taking at least 12 credits on campus.
Rules Made Clear In The Handbook
Some of the rules that are listed in the housing handbook are no incense, candles, or burning of any substance due to fire hazard. These handbooks are available to the residents if they want, but they are also informed of these rules when they move in. Pets are not allowed with the exception of fish. No firearms, ammunition, weapons, fireworks, explosives, noxious materials, incendiary devices, dangerous instruments, etc. No waterbeds, microwaves, toasters, or hotplates in the rooms. There are quiet hours at the dorms, these consist of 10:00pm to 8:00am Sunday through Thursday, and 11:00pm to 8:00am Friday and Saturday. “Courtesy” hours are in effect 24 hours a day, this is broken if noise is heard two doors away. Underage drinking and the use of illegal drugs is restricted. The last rule is that there is only one person allowed in one shower or bath stall at a time.
Consequences For Breaking The Rules
If these rules are violated, there are three steps that the administrators follow. First, they give you a verbal warning and make sure that they write this down to document your behavior. After the verbal warning the person has to have a meeting with the hall director. The last step is eviction. If students are caught underage drinking in the dorms, they have to go to Alcohol choices class and pay a 15$ fine. After more than one offense they can consider evicting offenders from the dorms.
Measure Of The Burdensomeness
I have lived in the dorms before and all of these controls were not too much of a burden for me. I liked the rules because it kept me feeling safe, but sometimes I wish that the noise policy was not there. Most of the time I didn’t really think about all of the rules, but when I wanted to stay up late on the weekends and be loud with my friends, I always thought I was going to get in trouble by the Residence Hall Assistants. They would patrol the hall and make sure that everyone was following the rules.
“Direct Action”
I think that there can be an affect of being good through “direct action” by stating your concerns in a group to get your point out. I talked to my friend Tyson who had broken one of the rules and got away with it. He talked to a bunch of other residents to see if they were upset by his behavior and they all said no. So he took this to the hall director and they had a meeting. With everyone’s support she did not punish him for his actions.
Escaping Controls
I think the only way to get away form all of these juridic controls is to live completely by yourself in the woods and just hunt and gather food. There is no place that you can live in society that will leave you free of Juridic controls. There is a rule or a limit on everything that we do and everywhere that we go. The only way to be rid of absolutely all rules and regulations is to be completely isolated.
If people want to find ways to live within society and have less controls then they can change some things about their lifestyle. For example, if someone doesn’t want to be tied down with the rules of driving cars then they could ride a bike, but there are even controls on small things like walking and riding a bike. This is just the world that we live in and I really don’t think that there is any escape. I am not saying that I disagree with having controls on things like driving or riding a bike, I am just saying that I can see that our lives are very much controlled by all types of rules and regulations. Living in the MSUB dorms means living under many rules and regulations but that is a choice that a student has to make. If the controls are too harsh people can find another place to live and abide by different rules they agree with.

reviewed spring 2008 / Tredet

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