Walk the halls in Gardner Hall on a Friday night, and you will probably see a lot of empty rooms. Try Mabee or Nelson, and you might notice fewer freshmen there, too. Fewer, that is, than would have been there last year or the year before – or 50 years before, for that matter.
Freshman curfew is a thing of the past, and freshmen are out celebrating their newfound freedom.
As of this semester, freshmen are no longer bound by curfew Friday and Saturday nights. Freshmen are no longer required to “pull” their cards or sign out for the weekend, although curfew will still be enforced Sunday through Thursday. Changes to visitation rules are also under consideration. Residence Life made the decision, reasoning that freshmen are adults and should be treated as such.
Curfew has ensured freshmen are in their rooms at a decent hour on weekends for as long as anyone can remember. People have petitioned, complained and disagreed about curfew times for just as long, but elimination of weekend curfew is a brand new step in the right direction for the university.
It always comes back to the age-old argument: if 18 year olds are old enough to be drafted, they’re old enough to drink, smoke, own a gun and vote. All of those freedoms are debatable, of course, but the point is freshman can and should be given more responsibility than a high school student. Not only will elimination of curfew allow a deserved – but wisely limited – freedom, it will show students that ACU considers them adults that should be treated with respect. In return, student should show greater respect for the university and their resident assistants.
Curfew on weekdays does more than give new students time to study and sleep while getting accustomed to college life. It also offers students a chance to form a community within their dorms, socializing with other students on their floor instead of romping around Abilene all night.
Elimination of weekend curfew, however, is beneficial to students for two reasons: it shows the university trusts its students, and it also promotes safety for freshmen. If a student makes plans to be out for the weekend and those plans fall through, they no longer face a locked door and a disgruntled desk worker pointing to a threatening sign-in sheet. Instead of calling random acquaintances and sleeping on a floor off-campus, students can consider their dorm as a safe and welcoming alternative.
The decision will inevitably draw criticism from those who have considered curfew essential to college life at a Church of Christ school, but it shows that Residence Life is putting thought into meeting the interests of our students. Although a few upperclassmen wish Residence Life came to this realization a few years sooner, the university deserves a pat on the back for making the decision at all. From a freshman’s perspective, they deserve a hug and a plate of cookies, but we’ll let the freshmen do that.