Colleges and universities have always been a place for people to share ideas and opinions, fostering social and intellectual diversity. With the new rules imposed by the housing office to curb window decor across campus, however, Eastern has taken a major step backward.According to housing’s rules, any sign or symbol – including flags, Christmas decorations and political posters – in a window is prohibited.
Housing has said this clampdown on expression is for the sake of uniformity and aesthetic appeal, but this appears to be a contradiction of terms because a bland, suppressed campus is anything but appealing. In fact, it is the antithesis of what college should be. The administration’s priorities clearly are askew when officials are more concerned with how the campus looks than with students expressing their ideas.
Furthermore, this clampdown on expression disregards the gravity of a semester during which our country is at war and during which our country is electing a leader. To prohibit students from sharing and advocating ideas via posters or flags in such an important time is simply irresponsible.
Kenna Middleton, director of housing and student life, argued that dorms are merely for living. Well, yes. And many students live in the dorms for nine months out of the year. Many of these students are freshmen and sophomores who, under campus rules, have no choice but to live in the dorms.
Middleton and the housing office need to appreciate this fact and allow these students to make themselves at home. Otherwise, no one should be surprised when the campus becomes a ghost town on Friday afternoons.
Housing officials need to get rid of this window-decor rule; it is unnecessary, divisive and will prove to be a waste of time enforcing.