Ed Brayton is unimpressed with the University of Wisconsin’s recent decision to allow two of its campuses to continue to prohibit dorm RAs from holding Bible study in their dorm rooms.
The problem with all of this is that their policy doesn’t support their alleged goals. They defend the policy by saying that RAs “must be prepared to fulfill employment-related responsibilities any time they are in their room or residence hall.” But if this is really the reason for the restriction, why don’t they ban all meetings in the dorm rooms of RAs? Wouldn’t an RA having a chess club meeting or even a poker game make them unavailable in exactly the same sense?
First of all, poker is a hallowed college tradition that shouldn’t be tampered with. But seriously, while initially I’m skeptical about Brayton’s arguments, he does have a point. I’m sure I would have been completely weirded out in college if my RA was asking me and my dorm-mates to a Bible study group, but so what? As long as the RA does her/his job, why should the college single out this one activity from a long list of creepy-but-legal things an RA could be doing, like doily making, shovel racing, or, apparently, interofficing dead rats (which, perhaps not surprisingly, comes up first in a Google search for “creepy but legal”)?
College students should be prepared to deal with a little weirdness. It’ll probably help them when they get to that weirdest place of all: the real world.