Morality Standards in Higher Education Reach Another Low

I tend to believe higher education in America can’t do anything else to surprise me when it comes to morality issues.  But this new story about Tufts is rather amazing.

Makes you wonder who is sitting around the table making these policies, and what is their worldview that drives them to think this policy is creating a “standard for morality.”  Why make any rule, if this is the highest standard they could imagine?

I’m not naive enough to be shocked the behavior is going on at Tufts or any secular institution, but that the administrators believe such a blind-eye-to-morality-policy is teaching anything of value is absurd.

Needless to say, our standards of morality at Belhaven come from a higher authority than the Office of Residential Life and Learning.  (Got to laugh at “learning” in the title of the folks who developed this policy.)

(CNN) — A new policy at Tufts University prohibits students in dorms from having sex while their roommate is in the room, according to the university’s 2009-2010 student handbook.

A school spokeswoman says students have expressed concerns over roommate having sex in the dorms.

The Massachusetts university’s formal rule also bars so-called “sexiling” — exiling a roommate from the room so the other roommate can engage in sexual activity.

The new policy “is really about consideration and respect for others and the need for students to be mindful of their roommates’ need for privacy, study and sleep,” university spokeswoman Kim Thurler told CNN.

She said while she did not have an exact number of complaints from students about their roommates’ behavior, “over the last few years, the Office of Residential Life and Learning received approximately a dozen expressions of concern about this issue.”

Callie Morton, a freshman at Tufts, told CNN affiliate WHDH-TV, “If someone is going to go and have sex while their roommate is in the room, I mean I think that’s kind of gross. I think it’s kind of funny that they would have to make a rule about it.”

The new guidelines for students hosting overnight guests say, “You may not engage in sexual activity while your roommate is present in the room. And sexual activity within your assigned room should not ever deprive your roommate(s) of privacy, study, or sleep time.”

Other students agree that the new rule is going to be difficult to implement.

“I don’t think it’s something that can really be enforced per se,” an unidentified Tufts University student told WHDH. “I don’t understand how that’s going to work.”

Thurler explained that if a problem is identified and brought to the attention of residence officials, the university will help the affected student have a conversation with his/her roommate to address the situation.

“In some cases, we might intervene on behalf of the student,” Thurler said, “and speak with their roommate directly and explain what is expected of them while they live in the residence halls.”

Thurler wouldn’t comment on possible disciplinary action by the university if a student breaks the rules.