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Kate McCabe / Gavel Media

Diatribe: The Perfect Boston College Student

This story first appeared in The Gavel's Spring 2019 print magazine.

My name is Baldwin, and I’m the perfect BC student. I follow all the rules listed in the Code of Student Conduct to the letter. I want to take you through a day in my life, in hopes that you too may become a perfect BC student. Throughout my day, you’ll see me reference some of the specific rules I’m talking about in parentheses—feel free to check them for yourself.

To start my day, like all Eagles, I wake up on my regulation mattress. Sometimes, it’s hard to sleep without a foam topper, but since that’s officially against the rules, I of course don’t own one. Who knows when the RA’s will violate my privacy and perform unannounced room checks? I’m not really sure how this works with my right to privacy under 4.1, but oh well. This is also the reason I always go to sleep fully dressed, just in case they want to check early in the morning.

After waking up, I jump in the shower. Unfortunately, as soon I start shampooing, the fire alarm goes off. Instead of finishing, I have to leave the shower immediately and go outside in whatever I have on (read: a towel). Any delay in exit is a sanctionable offense so, modesty must be thrown to the wind (4.2.3).

Following this small delay, I go back inside and finish getting dressed, making sure to grab my BC ID before heading out for the day. Freshman year, I learned that leaving my room without my ID is against the rules, and I am required to carry identification on me at all times (in case an administrator wants to see it for any reason [4.1]). Because it’s a rule, I haven’t forgotten it in my room once in my two years of college. Then I head to class.

When I finish class, I would love to go home and just relax, but living with 7 other people makes it kind of difficult to follow school policies. For example, whenever my roommates start drinking, I obviously leave the room immediately. Not because I’m tempted to drink (I would never dream of it), but because even being around alcohol is against the rules (4.3.1). I basically have to spend every weekend away from my dorm, because I never know when someone might bring out a drink. While I can’t wait to turn 21 and try alcohol for the first time, even then I’ll have trouble spending free time with my roommates—some of them smoke weed. Even though it’s legal in Massachusetts, BC said I can’t, and it’s not my place to question why (4.3.2).

Another problem about relaxing at home is when my roommates want to watch a big game. For example, one time, during March Madness, we were all watching together. But then, one of my roommates wanted to bet on which team would win, so I had to leave and watch in the lounge (4.6.6). Since gambling is not allowed on campus (and any failure to report conduct violations is a conduct violation of its own) I had no choice; I was also forced to leave my extracurriculars after they tried to get me to participate in their bracket pools. Oh well, who needs friends or clubs, when you can follow the rules?

Luckily, during these lonely times, I have my girlfriend to go and visit. Despite what some other heathen couples may do on campus, whenever I’m with her, we make sure to stay in the common room rather than her bedroom—we don’t want to offend the Jesuit values that uphold this school. We never sleepover each other’s rooms, since cohabitation isn’t allowed, and it goes without saying, but we won’t have sex until we’re married. Not because either of us is particularly religious, but because BC told us not to (4.6.8). Sometimes we play checkers though, and that’s fun too. Usually, I’ll stay there until about 2am, until rounds end and I can safely go back to my room. Then I go to bed and do it all over again.

Pretty glamorous, right? I follow every rule to the letter, and although it may seem silly, it’s what BC expects of me, so I do it. I am an administrator’s wet dream, and a free thinker’s worst nightmare. I am the perfect BC student.

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