Letter to the Editor: In Response to “Overnight Guest Policy Needs Reform”

My name is Kaitlyn Mathews-Shoun. I am a sophomore nursing major and African studies minor. This letter is written in response to the article “Overnight Guest Policy Needs Reform” by Laura Waldron. As a Fromm resident, I find this policy is a necessity to maintain the unique environment of my dorm.

I would first like to say that I am engaged, and if anyone would want their significant other to stay over, it would be me. However, the whole reason I chose to live in Fromm for my second year is because it is an all-girls dorm. Being an all-girls dorm means that the only men who are allowed in must be checked in; therefore, it is much more likely that residents and their guests will follow the rules. This creates a feeling of security unique to Fromm.

Fromm is known as the quiet, strict and sometimes boring dorm. Believe it or not, some girls want that. I want it to be quiet, and I do not want to hear my neighbors going at it at 2 a.m. when I have a test the next day. I do not want to walk in my bathroom and see some man staring in the mirror while I am in my towel. I don’t want that, and neither does my fiancé. I had a problem with him living in a coed dorm when he was at Cal. For some people, especially women, there needs to be a place of security and comfort. Whether or not you think the policy is fair, it is important to realize that an all girls dorm is necessary for the comfort of girls who do not want to have boys anywhere near them. In extreme cases, think about girls who have been sexually abused. Think also about girls whose concerned parents who would only allow their daughters to live on campus in the all-girls dorm. Without Fromm, these girls would never have a chance to live on campus at all.

It’s true that this rule is biased against heterosexuals. It is true that a lesbian couple can share the night in their own dorm while a straight couple cannot. However, this is not the intent or focus of this rule. Each rule as it is enforced strengthens respect and obedience of all other rules, including more important ones. This rule helps create an atmosphere in which all rules are obeyed. Such an atmosphere creates the sense of security and comfort that all Fromm residents benefit from, regardless of their sexual preferences. Heterosexual girls are surrendering the privilege of having their partners stay over in order to help create this universally beneficial environment.

Granted, not all Fromm residents chose to live here. But, I can think of a lot of my hardworking friends and fellow residents who did not want to live in a loud floor in Phelan or Lone Mountain. Whether a girl wanted to live in Fromm or not, she should be aware of the kind of environment that the residents of the community want to create, and respect that environment. This is a courtesy that all residents in all kinds of communities should extend. If a girl were to choose to live in a mixed dorm, even if she found out that she was in a loud environment that she didn’t like, she should respect that that is the kind of community that the residents want to create.

My academic achievement relies on my having a quiet community that respects me and my desire to not be constantly surrounded by distractions—the type of noisy distractions male overnight guests would bring. Our dorm is a place for academic achievement, and the rules have been set to help make it the best living space for all of us. There are some rules made for a few people so that the entire dorm can be as much like as home as possible. Some residents may want a social environment and the freedom to bring guests into their rooms overnight. I do not. I can name quite a few people from our dorm who feel the way I do: succeeding in school is our main goal.

Fromm is not a hotel, and it is not a brothel. It is my home. Everyone must respect the needs of their fellow residents. For this reason, a compromise has been made—guests are allowed, but none of the opposite sex overnight. Those socially inclined must abide by these rules, or navigate them to fulfill their desires. It is fine for my neighbors to fulfill their desires as long as they do not threaten the environment that I choose to live in.


Kaitlyn Mathews-Shoun

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