A Student’s Dorm Room Is His Castle

Regarding the court case in New Jersey involving a young man who tweeted about his college roommate having homosexual encounters in their dorm room, what struck me is how students are routinely expected to vacate their rooms when their roommates wish to have sex. Isn’t this rather an imposition and in more ways than one?

A college student’s room is his home, no? At least for the time he is at school. All his things and his “stuff” are there; that is his base. How would any of us like to be told that we have to leave our home for some hours so that another member of our household can have sex? And for that matter, given the size of most college dormitory rooms, how would we like to return to our tiny home directly after a session of steamy sex, complete with exchange and release of the various bodily fluids of other individuals? Shouldn’t there be some kind of rule for college dormitories, that, given today’s givens, your sex life is your own, but you can’t impose on your roommate and must find suitable arrangements elsewhere?

Even the mature and distinguished doctor played by Trevor Howard in the wonderful British movie Brief Encounter (1945) has to borrow an apartment in order to entertain a married lady, played by Celia Johnson, with whom he, also married, is falling in love. And even then, he is embarrassed when the friend whose apartment it is arrives unexpectedly and discovers that the Howard character intended to use the premises for that purpose. And indeed, the doctor and the lady do not become intimate, but realize that they must part and return to their respective spouses. What a sublime movie. The Brits, who are known to like the idea of self-renunciation, voted it their most-loved film.

But seriously, colleges should set rules about these things if only to avoid the kind of trouble, outrage, and injustice this New Jersey episode is causing. And students might learn something about proper times and proper places, and maybe even something about proper behavior.

Most Popular

Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More