U. content with guest policy amid Tufts' 'sexile' reform


"Sexiling" and having sex while your roommate is present in your room in residence halls was formally banned at Tufts University.

"Sexiling" is the act of forcibly removing your roommate from your room, according to the 2009-2010 Tufts student handbook.

"I was surprised to hear that Tufts made the rule based on what I heard, [which] was less than 10 isolated complaints," said Tufts University School of Engineering senior Melissa Romanus. "Really, I think some form of ‘sexiling' occurs at every college. I don't really feel that there was cause for the rule."

But at home, the University's policy remains stagnant.

"We do not have any plans to develop a policy similar to the one at Tufts University," Vice President of Student Affairs Gregory Blimling said. "When we receive complaints about such behavior, our staff talks with the students and resolves the situation."

Most students at Tufts feel the same way, Romanus said.

"It's not like Tufts kids are the only college kids having sex," she said. "There was a lot of talk after it happened. A lot of people think that it's just something that should be worked out with the roommate. I kind of feel the same way."

She said she never saw anyone written up for having sex while their roommate was present, but she heard of students being ‘sexiled' and seen the "sock on the door" policy.

"Freshman year, my roommate had sex with her boyfriend when she thought I was asleep," Romanus said. "I think she knew that I had heard them, but it wasn't usually a problem with us. We mostly arranged to be out of the room or something. The only times it did happen, she really thought I was asleep."

By the language of the policy, Romanus does not need to complain for her roommate to get in trouble; her roommate would only need to be discovered having sex while Romanus is in the room.

The next step would be for residence assistants to write up the violating roommate and send them to the Residence Judicial Board to be interviewed, according to the Tufts Student Handbook.

"It's only sex, and we're in college," Romanus said. "If I was standing in the middle of the room with the lights on and they just started going at it, it might be cause for a more serious talk. We were mostly discrete or asked for some privacy when we were having boys over."

Elsewhere, Executive Director of Residence Life Joan Carbone said the University will not be making a similar regulation.

"Our guest policy in the residence halls does not allow a guest in a room or apartment at any time, over the objection of the roommate," she said. "Therefore, there is sufficient opportunity for a student to prevent behavior that is caused by a guest of their roommate by using the current guest policy."

The current policy states that a guest may not enter the residence facilities for any period of time if the roommate, University staff or other residents complain about them or if the guest stays long enough to be considered subcontracting, according to University Housing's Web site.

The result of violating the guest policy is judicial action or termination of the resident's housing agreement and removal of the guest from University housing.

Many students think the University's policy is enough.

"There does not need to be a policy about [‘sexiling']," School of Arts and Sciences senior Kimmy Rimmey said. "These are issues that roommates should work out themselves."

She said rooms must be shared and roommates should be able to talk openly about their problems.

"Sharing is caring," Rimmey said. "[It's] ultimately ‘our' room. I don't think Rutgers needs to put in any type of ‘anti-sexiling' policy."

Others feel differently.

"I would say that it's definitely something people have to be sensitive of," Rutgers College senior Dmitry Ostrovsky said. "But making it into a rule could be a little too extreme when it comes to expelling people from housing for having consensual sex."

He said he would be fine with it as long as there is a formal three-strike rule.

"I can't see why a rule would hurt," he said. "But some people are just inconsiderate on their own ethical framework."


Cagri Ozuturk

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