One dormitory at Seton Hall University has now prohibited students from putting up any decorations, including those on their own doors. It’s apparently designed to teach students a lesson, or something, though it just seems patronizing to me.

According to Peter Bonilla at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) one resident assistant (RA) at Xavier Hall sent the following email to the residents of the dormitory:

Starting tomorrow, November 1st[,] we are doing an Anti-Vandalism Campaign, the entire building. So there will be NO door decs, NO bulletin boards, nothing. The reason why is that we have been having vandalism complaints and the RA’s On Duty always see some type of vandalism which is why we are doing this, to deter those who have done it.

I know its [sic] horrible but it is only for a while so whenever you get the chance, PLEASE take down your door decs and put them in the room. For those that have really cool door decs, the same goes for you. Later tonight I will knock on your doors telling you to take down your door decs. If you’re not there, I’ll take them down myself and slide them under the door. Please cooperate with me and the rest of the building staff on this initiative, it will benefit in the end.

Well if you know it’s horrible, why did you enforce it?

Now students obviously enjoy no constitutional privilege to put stuff on their doors and they also have no right to deface other people’s decorations but come on. This solution seems ineffective, not to mention (“If you’re not there, I’ll take them down myself and slide them under the door”) ludicrously time consuming.

The campaign will last until November 15.

The RA promised that this no decorations policy “will benefit in the end” though it’s not terribly clear how. Students vandalized some property. Why not just charge the whole dorm for the cost of the damages?

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer