Sex in a Tufts University dorm is fine. Sex in a Tufts dorm with your roommate present? That's a no-no.
This semester, the school has a new policy banning sexual activity while a roommate is in the same room. Kim Thurler, a Tufts University spokeswoman, said the school issued the new rule after a dozen or so complaints in the past three years.
"It's really about respect and consideration, and it's a question of how roommates utilized their space," Thurler said.
The new policy concerning overnight guests reads: "You may not engage in sexual activity while your roommate is present in the room." It mentions no consequences if the rule is broken, however.
Thurler maintains the new policy is not about regulating students' behavior, rather getting roommates talking about the issue of space with each other. She said the policy is aimed at the school's 5,000 undergraduates.
Alyza DelPan-Monley, 20, a philosophy major, agreed that the policy is more about showing respect for roommates than limiting sexual activity.
"I've been fortunate that I've had good experiences with my roommates," said DelPan-Monley. "But this is there for people who can't communicate with their roommates."
Freshman Jon Levinson, 18, said discussions about dorm-room sex etiquette should be kept between roommates.
"I don't believe it's the university's place to determine what goes on in a room," Levinson said. "Personally, I wouldn't want to have sex in front of my roommate, and my roommate wouldn't want to have sex in front of me."
Policies at universities and colleges concerning dorm room sex vary. Some Catholic universities prohibit opposite-sex "cohabitation" and sleepovers in dorms, while Harvard University's student handbook prohibits any "serious or persistent unwanted sexual conduct."
Efforts to regulate on students' sexual behavior drew national attention to Antioch College in Ohio — now closed — in 1993. Antioch's "Sexual Offense Prevention Policy" required students to ask permission from one another if they wanted to have sexual contact, including holding hands.