The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 11, 1973, EXTRA!, Page page 2, Image 2

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    page 2
The fire of student protest has been
rekindled. Last weekend, organized
groups of students placed signs
throughout dormitories and manned
protest booths to tell parents that the
present visitation policy is unfair.
The dormitories long have been a
center of discontent, and with the
summer defeat by the regents of
proposals to allow increased visitation
and alcohol in the dormitories, student
leaders arc being forced to take action.
This edition of EXTRA concerns the
plight of the dormitories and reports on
evaluations of the residence halls
completed at the beginning of the school
year by a sub-committee of the ASUN
Environment Task Force.
By Rebecca Ross
The UN! Housing Office prefers to
call them residence halls. Students who
live in or have lived in dormitories would
rather call them storage areas for student
The Housing Office lists its objectives
for residence halls as providing students
with opportunities for learning
experiences and self development.
But last year, a sub-committee ol the
W'i H
- tonsr . ,
ASUN environmental task force took a
long hard look at dormitories and found
that the university isn't meeting its
objectives for residence halls.
In its report, "An Evaluation of UNL
Residence Halls", the committee found
that many students each year are moving
out of dormitories and many more,
would like to move out.
Why arc students dissatisfied with
dormitory life?
To answer this question, the
committee surveyed Harpcr-Schramm-Smith
dormitory residents and
interviewed 32 persons who had moved
out of dormitories. The committee found
that at the end of the 1972-73 school
year, the dormitoiics were 86 per cent
occupied and 40 per cent of the 153
students surveyed said they would rather
not be living in a dormitory.
The committee also set up an
observation schedule of the three dorms
to determine how they were being used.
The committee members spent time in
the main floor lounges, the snack bar,
cafeteria and game room.
The group also made field trips to
Benedictine College in Atchinson, Kan.,
the University of Kansas and Kansas State
University, to make comparisons between
UNL's dormitory system and those of
other collcgees.
After conducting their research, the
committee concluded that most UNL
students are unhappy with dormitory life
because of violations of personal rights.
"Current student dissatisfaction with
dormitories exists," the report says,
"because their personal rights have been
largely ignored and openly vetoed on
occasion by administrators."
The report uses findings from the
Committee on llie Student in Higher
I ducation which found that "students
arc thrown into huge building complexes,
where their own rooms aie rather small
and barracks-like and inhabited by several
other people. 01 ten the expression ol
personality through furniture or
decorations is severely restricted."
How can a University, the report asks,
justify denying rights and privileges to a
legal adult who lives in a dormitory while
recognizing the same rights and privileges
of a legal adult who lives off campus?
Is a dormitory, the report asks, merely
a "facility grudingly provided by the state
to accomodate its students?"
The committee said the UNL
dormitories arc especially confining
because they all have the same policies,
rules and programs.
"If one ostensible purpose of the
dorm," it says, "is to allow people to live
near and be exposed to many different
sorts of people and their ideas, opinions,
and life styles, it is not being met to its
greatest potential."
The committee proposes that the
university set up dormitories with
different features, such as coed
dormitories, ones with 24-hour visitation
or dormitories with fixed rules. The
student could then choose which type of
living arrangement suited his personality.
Photos by
Rich Steinmetz
One of the basic problems with
dormitories, the committee found, is the
physical layout.
"The floor lounges are almost all
equipped with televisions," the report
said, "which have pre-empted the
development of different types of
interpersonal activities there."
Students are not always free to bring
guests to their rooms, wheie they feel the
most comfortable, the icporl stated.
'I lie Housing Office includes the need
loi privacy in its basic objectives. Bui the
committee found that this privacy should
include not only piivacy inside the loom