Strict rules leave students with dull dormitory rooms

Upon arriving at college, there are so many new, exciting things. There are new people, new experiences and new surroundings.
Even your living space is new, but new is not the same as exciting.
Everything about a dorm room screams boring: the white walls, the dull grey, faintly patterned carpet, the plain window coverings.
While we can cover the carpet to an extent and decorate the windows with a number of different curtains and fabrics, the walls can only be slightly hidden.
In most residence halls around campus, the walls are a dull white color with little promise, and only a small number of dorms have rooms with accent-colored walls.
Decorating walls can result in fines regardless of how we try to make the situation better.
My suggestion is to allow the students to paint and decorate the walls of their rooms as they see fit.
Of course, this couldn’t go unregulated, that would just make for pure chaos.
Now living off-campus for my junior year, this opportunity became a reality for me and I only had to follow a few rules.
The rules are simple: if you paint, don’t do anything you can’t cover up, and cover the floors and baseboards and paint over it at the end of your lease.
Where I live there are no restrictions on most other forms of decorating, allowing me to have Christmas lights in my room.
While I’ve experienced no fires caused by my Christmas lights, I have them plugged into a surge protector.
It is not actually the light bulb itself that is a fire hazard, but the wall outlet that could short because of an overload.
This brings me to the idea of regulating the use of decorative lights in dorms and the suburbs as well.
While the lights sometimes do leave lines on the walls from use, if painting your dorm was allowed, this wouldn’t be an issue.
Instead of prohibiting decorative lights, Res Life could work with students to make them safe.
There are a few colleges around the United States that allow their students to paint the walls of their dorms to make it seem more personal and feel more like home for each individual student.
Since I don’t see Linfield taking such a policy change into consideration until after at least a few more years and many meetings on the topic, don’t go painting your room just yet.
There are plenty of other ways to decorate your room without racking up fines.
One cheap alternative is to decorate with fabrics in your favorite patterns and the new trendy wall decals that are sold everywhere.
Pictures of home and friends are obviously a must-have for living in a new place, as well as postcards, posters and tapestries.
Using easy-to-remove wall stickers to attach everything will help you to avoid fines at the end of the year.
Your time in college is supposed to be an exciting one, don’t let your dorm dull it down.
You’ll be spending many hours in your room, so you might as well enjoy it.

Kaylyn Peterson
Copy chief
Kaylyn Peterson can be reached at

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