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OPINION: Students live in dorms, not doctors’ offices

Sterile, bare, spotless.

No, I’m not talking about a hospital. I’m not even talking about an academic building — that is an entirely different monster.

No, I’m talking about our dorms.

Living in a dorm is hard. You’re with new people in a small space, and half of the time you don’t even have a proper kitchen. Decorations make a mass-produced room and furniture stand out and feel comfortable.

But, now, you’d better not put anything in your windows.

As of this semester, we’ve been banned from hanging anything in our windows. According to the email sent out by various residence directors and Residence Life, “this includes, but is not limited to, items such as pictures, posters, signs and decorative lights.”

Luckily we can still hang up university-approved curtains, though. Those jelly stick-ons, though?

Put them away.

Christmas lights, nope.

Bumper stickers, yikes.

For all Belmont has done in the past – especially recently – to emphasize the importance of diversity, this seems like a step backward.

The policy also states the purpose is to create a welcoming and safe environment. Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see how making students remove dorm decorations creates a more welcoming or safer environment.

Should inappropriate or threatening signs be removed? Absolutely. Should that string of Christmas lights? I don’t think so. If it’s a case of trying to make things look more uniform – why? We’re college students. Hardly anything we do is orderly. You’ve seen finals week.

In our Bruin Guide, it states, “the Belmont community is committed to the dignity and worth of every individual, recognizing that each person is unique and possesses both rights and responsibilities.” It may seem small, but this new policy is infringing on that uniqueness of each and every student being displayed.

At the very least, why was this policy put into effect now, in the middle of the school year? We have had decorations in our windows since August. It would make much more sense to start the new school year with a new policy, not just throw it in there when students are already comfortable in their dorms.

So, yes, go enjoy your spring semester.

Just don’t put anything in your windows.

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