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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Conduct Corner: Rights and Responsibilities

Published: March 21, 2008
Section: Opinions

University Board on Student Conduct would like to bring to your attention a specific clause of Rights and Responsibilities: Section 6.5. “Storage closets, vacated residence hall rooms, and roof areas may not be accessed by students without permission from Residence Life.”

Allow me to take a moment to expand upon a section of Rights and Responsibilities that I think is kind of important. In plain English it’s the “don’t go on the roof or into empty rooms” policy. This conduct policy is rather self-explanatory but you may not know that it is new to Rights and Responsibilities this year. I thought it would be a good idea to review some of its finer points. Essentially, the policy means exactly what it says. Students may not use or enter storage closets, vacated residence hall rooms, or be on top of school roofs without prior approval. The reason for the policy change is that Brandeis has had too many incidents in the past where students turned up where they shouldn’t have been, and it had to be dealt with by Campus Safety.

Sure, we’ve all thought about climbing the Castle roof for fun at one time or another, and most seniors have already probably considered breaking into an empty room and creating our own deluxe suite for the semester. I’ve even thought of finding an empty res hall over the summer and camping out there after graduation, (because who would ever want to leave Brandeis?). Deep down we all know this version of breaking and entering is wrong even if a door was unlocked or the view from the roof is just breathtaking. The same thing goes for using those areas to get away from annoying roommates or to romance a fellow student. If you’re having a problem with a roommate, it will work out better in the long run to do the mature thing; take it up with your CA or QD. As for storage closet romance, that’s just nasty.

The rationale behind most any policy in Rights and Responsibilities is safety. Yes, we all must pay for the clumsy, dim-witted, or reckless peers among us. Fair is fair and if the drunken, angry, student-poet can’t climb the roof to get his angst on, then neither can the more common sense-blessed. Not only that, it’s also just a bad idea to have students in restricted areas when no one else knows they’re there.

Picture it: climbing the Castle roof or the water tower then you get hurt, fall, or have a medical emergency and no one is there (or sober enough) to call BEMCO. Plus no one wants to have that negative run-in with Campus Safety; some of those guys have a limited sense of humor when it comes to safety.

Play it safe and don’t go adventuring. This policy is for our own good as students and citizens of the wider Brandeis community. Most students may know the “roof policy” already, but just in case consider this a friendly reminder from the University Board of Student Conduct! Stay tuned for more Conduct Corner pieces from others members of the UBSC, you’ll laugh, you’ll learn, or you’ll just get a friendly reminder of how to stay out of trouble.

Members of the University Board of Student Conduct (UBSC) are contributing to this column in an effort to highlight the rights and responsibilities that students may be struggling with at Brandeis and to educate the community. Want a voice in shaping your rights and responsibilities? Join the Revision Committee on April 4th at 2pm, room 314 of the Shapiro Campus Center. Contact Erika Lamarre Director of Student Development and Conduct at for more info or to share your ideas. Check out Rights and Responsibilities in your Agenda Planner/Handbook or online at