Dinosaurs in dorms: first-year community agreements gone wrong

burgian dorm

Photo courtesy of gettysburg.edu

By Jenna Seyer, Staff Writer

As you all certainly know, first-year students were required to meet with their floormates to create a “community agreement” during the first days of orientation. While awkwardly staring at each other in another painful meet-and-greet, a few brave souls suggested rules to live by: no slamming of doors, quiet hours, respectfulness, leaving what you found as it was and a designated time (after midnight) when guys and girls can use the opposite-gender bathroom.

It all seemed pretty reasonable. Only a month into the semester that community agreement began to lose its oomph, and everything went down the drain (if it wasn’t already clogged with hair).

Some of you are fortunate to live next to relatively quiet, polite weekend party-goers. Others, like myself, have to bear listening to awful techno, Jersey Shore-style fist-bumping house music at the ungodly hour of 2 a.m. on a Tuesday.

From what sounds like dying animal noises to door slamming in the middle of the night, I feel like I’m on the set of Jurassic World. What are these walls made of, paper?

I’ve tried almost every ridiculous tactic in the book: wearing headphones to bed, putting pillows over my ears, slamming my fist against the wall to communicate a not-so-subtle “shut up” and even having a let’s-see-who-can-blast-music-the-loudest contest, which did not help the situation at all.

My music couldn’t possibly drown out the high-pitched guttural sounds of a Taylor Swift sing-along. And with that voice you’re definitely “Never Ever Getting Back Together”…like, ever!

So, I ask you all to please be considerate toward others who are trying to sleep, studying for an exam, writing a research paper and doing everything in between.

If, for some reason, you are dying to belt out T-Swift at 3 a.m. on a Thursday, please take your karaoke session outside. I’m sure the birds won’t care as much as exhausted college students.

Nonetheless, Gettysburg College students comprise a supportive, thoughtful, intellectual and passionate community of individuals. It is here where I truly found my place. That community agreement was our first cooperative effort to create a welcoming and respectful environment. We should all try our best to be as courteous as possible to those around us.

And to my neighbors, thank you for starting off my mornings very early and for getting that Taylor Swift song stuck in my head. I will never, ever, ever, ever forget the lyrics!

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