Vandalism prompts midnight parietals rule
By Helena Payne
Due to several incidents of vandalism in the past month, Morrissey Hall rector Father John Steele imposed new parietal hours on the dorm's male residents.
Parietal hours, when students of the opposite sex are allowed in dorm rooms, normally run from 9 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Under the new rule, Morrissey parietals will now be 9 a.m. to midnight every day for the rest of the semester except the day of Morrissey's Christmas dance.
In an e-mail sent early Thursday to dorm residents, Steele wrote that four broken windows and a busted bathroom stall door on the third floor show a lack of pride for the dorm.
Steele also encouraged residents to come forward with information about the latest incident of vandalism, the smashed stall door, which occurred Sunday between 2 a.m. and 2:30 a.m.
"It is my experience that there is a code of silence that shrouds such happenings," he wrote. "No one wants to get anyone `in trouble.' This inmate mentality sometimes known as the honor of thieves has no place among men who have come to know themselves as a community, as brothers."
Steele went on to explain how to explain his reasons for eliminating social gatherings, which usually occur on weekends and last until 2 a.m. when parietal hours end.
"Since we are not in fact treating Morrissey Manor as a home by taking pride in it and taking care of it, it seems fitting that we have no further social gatherings in the dorm for the rest of the semester," he wrote.
Steele and the dorm's assistant rectors did not return phone calls made Thursday.
Some residents said they did not see a connection between vandalism and parietals.
"Parietals should not be a punishment, but they should be for privacy and safety," said sophomore Mike Haggerty.
Junior Michael Miranda said he and students were annoyed by the new restrictions.
"Out of a dorm of nearly 300 people, that's kind of a large amount of people to punish for a few incidents," he said.
Residents say they were under the impression that the new parietal hours could change if Steele gets a confession from the people responsible for the broken stall door. However, sophomore Brian Murphy was not convinced that the punishment would work.
"I don't think moving parietals back will deter vandalism," he said.
According to Steele's e-mail, the Office of Student Affairs is considering a dorm-wide fine.
All News Stories for Friday, November 22, 2002