There’s an oversized water bottle filled with urine outside my window. My room, which has the unique feature of being located just above the rooftop of another building, has long overlooked the bizarre collection of objects dropped there by residents of the floors above me, mainly consisting of cigarette butts, beer bottle caps and the odd apple core, but the urine is just too much.
When the bottle was dropped there a few nights ago, I was more than irate and a little horrified at the idea that, just maybe, a few drops of someone’s bodily fluids might have splashed into my room through the open window, exposing my roommate and I to who-knows-what kind of bacteria.
Yet, eventually, a new query popped into my mind; is this really what dorm etiquette has come to? Have the students of USF reached a point where tossing a bottle of urine out of the window is permissible?
Don’t be mistaken, I believe the majority of students here are fairly respectful to their neighbors yet, over the last few weeks, there has been an abrupt breakdown in the etiquette in the dorms. At the start of the semester, there were negligible incidents, generally just intoxicated students stumbling in during the wee hours of the morning on weekends. However, even I, having been known to sleep through earthquakes and hurricanes alike, have been roused from my sleep by people running down the halls with a lot less clothing than acceptable, yelling about how terrible their math homework is and blaring music. These disturbances aren’t limited to the night or noise either, I’ve frequently found huge clumps of hair in the showers, piles of garbage outside the trash cans and chunks of three day old chocolate chip cookie scattered across the couches in the lounge.
At a certain point, the student body needs to admit that dorm etiquette is on the decline and something has to be done amongst ourselves. The last thing that we need is more interference into our personal lives on behalf of the administration; we’re all relatively responsible young adults here and should have the intelligence to recognize when there’s a problem, how to fix it and, perhaps more importantly, have the maturity to act towards a resolution. It doesn’t take that much effort to keep your voice down at night, walk down the hall to the restroom or clean up after yourself but it does take a certain degree of self-discipline to be respectful towards your neighbors, on your floor or otherwise.