When we look around our campus, there are many changes going on to make this place “ever better.” In order to keep it livable for students during the process, UR has announced the most exciting new development of the year: new soundproof windows and doors for all the dorms.
After much consideration, administration decided that the benefits of this initiative will far outweigh the costs. Not only will it keep the excessive noise at bay, it will also give students increased privacy and the right to blast their music as loud as they want at 3 a.m.
On the other hand, the changes might not be necessary after all. For one thing, there is the fear of losing exclusive backstage passes to musical performances if the walls are to be reinforced.
Just by living above practice rooms, I’ve heard saxophones trudge through jazzy tunes and trumpets that blow so boldly I have to stop and listen for breaking glass.
But my favorites are the opera singers. What could be better background music than people going “tra-la-la-la-la” right under your feet? It’s like I’m actually at the opera (the most exciting place for any 19 year old, really), and I’m hearing the singers rehearse before the big show.
Also, hearing them while listening to my own music is really refreshing. The mix of Rihanna and opera is almost like having my own personal deejay.
Additionally, with Facebook already limiting non-digital communication, making the walls soundproof would continue to cut out student interaction that can only come from overhearing someone else’s conversation.
I was privileged to such rare student interaction the other night. As I was going to bed, I woke up with the ground shaking. After my eyes snapped open and I wondered what the hell was going on, my first thought was whether there was another serious earthquake on the East Coast, similar to the one in August. Then I listened closer. The wind perhaps? A few more minutes passed by, and the vicious sounds suddenly erupted again.
Then I realized it was some chick screaming at the top of her lungs going, “I hate you! You never replied to my text and now you are …”
Crucial information such as that could not be passed on if walls become soundproof, thus limiting student-to-student communication late at night.
But the best thing about no soundproof windows? I always get to hear opinions about this school firsthand. For example, when the clock tower started ringing late last night, I heard someone above me yell, “Shut up!”
Or, even better, when it starts pouring at night, people’s high-pitched screaming penetrates through the walls. Clearly the rain will melt all of them before they make it to safety.
And so, while I realize that the University is adding these things for our benefit, do we really need them? Everything is perfectly fine the way it is.
If possible, I’m tempted to say that we should get thinner doors and windows so we can hear everything that’s going on around campus. At that rate, we really will be on our way to “ever better.”
Panda is a member of the class of 2014.