As of Jan. 16, both men’s and women’s dorms are open to all students and visitors every Friday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The new policy is a notable shift from the previous monthly open dorms.
“We had heard conversations going on in regards to the lack of open dorms,” said Director of Residence Life Jimmy D’Agosta. “Having them once every other month for either the guys or girls didn’t seem to match the population’s desire. The Think Tank… recommended we extend open dorms, making it happen on a regular basis as opposed to this big event each month.”
Sarah Seibert, a freshman on ASB’s Think Tank, said the monthly open dorms were “awkward.”
“Having open dorms every week makes it normal to hang out and develop friendships,” Seibert said, “rather than being a day where couples go to see each other’s rooms.”
The new policy is a trial run, not necessarily a permanent change. According to D’Agosta, the final decision to keep or nix the weekly open dorms will partially depend on student response, measured by a poll at the end of the semester, as well as “use and abuse of the new open dorm policy.”
“If we find an increase of issues arising from open dorms, that could impact the longevity of this current plan,” he said. “At the same time, if we see students enjoying it for what it’s intended, then this would encourage us to keep it in place.”
Students initially reacted to the new policy with mixed emotions. While many see it as a needed freedom, some students are apprehensive that open dorm Fridays might lead to more liberal policies.
“They need to make a boundary,” said sophomore Jason Hardrath, “so it doesn’t keep digressing like every other school out there that used to be Christian but now has no rules about [their dorms]. There’s always going to be kids who want more and more freedom.”
Hardrath’s roommate, Myles Schaeffer, who said he came to Corban for its “conservative Christian environment,” expressed a similar wariness. “You relax one rule,” he said, “then – bam, bam, bam, bam – and you look like George Fox.”
D’Agosta isn’t worried about the new policy being the crest of a slippery slope.
“Our communities have specific purposes which include providing a place to feel safe, grow academically and spiritually, and develop strong relationships,” he said. “Protecting this environment is important, and open dorms is one of those factors that we must continually think through as it has an impact in each building’s environment.”
Regardless of how the experiment turns out, there’s one benefit everyone can agree on right now.
“I like it,” freshman Mitchell Kleier said, “because it makes people keep their rooms clean.”