Won’t you be my neighbor? Students clash over noise in Residence Halls

Shay Blackley said he is often awakened in the Residence Halls by the boisterous sounds of Britney Spears singing, “Hit me baby one more time.”

“They sing too much-they play stuff that was popular for teenage girls, like, seven years ago,” Blackley, a freshman film major, said of his neighbors.

Blackley mostly just laughs at his neighbors, but he said he has been tempted to talk with them about turning down their music.

Neighbor problems are a common concern for students living in the Residence Halls.

“(It’s) a problem only because we live in really close quarters with each other,” said Tami Harris, an assistant residential education coordinator.

Harris said noise conflicts usually occur when residents in one room play loud music during quiet hours or when students are trying to study.

“The people downstairs pulse their music. I can feel every beat,” said Emily Jensen, a freshman majoring in English.

Students have tried many different methods to get their neighbors to be quiet.

Jensen has tried pounding on the floor to send the message that the music is too loud, but so far she said it hasn’t worked.

Harris, who has experience mediating conflicts in the Residence Halls, suggests that students first approach the problematic neighbor.

“Just go over and talk to them, and let them know how it’s affecting you,” Harris said.

When students talk with their residence advisers, or RAs, before talking with the neighbors, it “puts the other student on the defensive,” Harris said.

Students should only talk with an RA after they have talked with the neighbor, Harris said.

When a student first talks to a neighbor, the behavior usually stops, but after a while, the neighbor may forget and turn up the music again.

Kim Killian, a freshman in early childhood education, said that her neighbors are continually yelling and listening to loud music.

All Killian has to do is knock on the door. No one answers, but she said she hears whispers of, “She’s still here, be quiet,” through the door.

After a couple of minutes, the noise stops, and Killian is able to go back to sleep, she said.

Although Residence Halls conflicts usually involve relatively benign issues such as noise, sometimes things can get serious.

If neighbors are fighting and it seems to be getting violent, students should talk with their RA in case the police need to become involved, said Becca Lish, an assistant residential education coordinator.

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