Greyhound Village balcony rules limit individualism

On July 6, the general manager of Greyhound Villages Denise Fisher sent out a patio/balcony and community appearance policy notice to all residents of the apartments stating that in an effort to “beautify” and “conform” to the standards of traditional apartment communities, new patio and balcony regulations will be implemented for the residents upcoming this semester and moving forward.

I agree with two of the regulations in Fisher’s notice.  First, the notice stated that leaky trash bags can potentially damage the patios and that a $50 fine per bag will be applied to any resident who leaves a trash bag outside. Plus, any damage caused by the bags are resident’s responsibility to pay for. This rule does have some merit. Leaving trash outside is completely unnecessary. There is a designated place for trash, and residents should adhere to that. Therefore, applying a fee to residents who violate the regulation is a reasonable response.

Second,  I agree with the regulation that all Greyhound Village furniture needs to be removed from patios because of possible damage. The notice said that any outdoor furniture purchased by
the students will be allowed on the patios.

Even though I agree with a couple of the new regulations, there are a few that do not sit well with me. The notice stated, “unfortunately, patios and balconies in a community setting are not the place to show individual style. Therefore,  all lights including any battery operated, garland, hanging decor including bird feeders and any sports related items need to be removed.”

According to the notice, patio and balcony walls and railings need to be free of any and all clothes, rugs, towels, flags, garbage containers, boxes, appliances,  exercise equipment and any debris. Also, no foil, stickers, decals, posters or colored blinds/drapes are allowed on the windows and patio doors. However, window treatments are permitted as long as they have a white background to create a unified look.

These regulations baffle me, because the University of  Indianapolis encourages students to embrace the different cultures on and off campus. These regulations limit the students’ individual freedoms. Not allowing students to hang flags on their balconies inadvertently restricts a student’s ability to show his or her UIndy pride, national pride or even cultural pride. I can understand not permitting items such as clothes, towels, garbage containers, etc. on the balconies because they are not necessary, but students should be allowed to hang their flags.

I understand the university’s need to set more rules regarding the patios and balconies if they are concerned about potential damage to them, but with the new regulations, I feel the university is limiting the students’ freedom to express their creativity, their cultural and religious pride and even their individual style. College is the best place to express students’ views and opinions, including politics and religion, in a peaceful and harmless way. By implementing these policies, I am concerned the university may be doing more harm than good.

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