The Daily Gamecock

Opinion: Respect residencies off campus

Students living off-campus should continue maintaining a standard of courtesy to their neighbors and property owners as responsible residents of Columbia. 

Living off-campus is a big step in a student’s life at USC. It’s a chance for students to demonstrate how they would manage life as an adult without a resident mentor watching over them. Understandably, students are excited for the opportunity to host parties, live with their pets and finally forget about quiet hours. 

While living off-campus can mean all of these things and lead to making great memories during college, many seem to overlook the fact that living off-campus isn’t some giant free-for-all. Though you may no longer live on the university grounds, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to oblige by some of the same rules.  

According to USC’s Off-Campus Living and Neighborhood Relations web page, “The Student Code of Conduct living applies to every student enrolled in the university whether they live on campus or off.” 

A major complaint about college students living off-campus is the noise levels. Students need to remain conscious of the noise they’re making to be considerate to their neighbors, whether that noise is from a Friday night party or a pet. This should happen every day, but especially on the weekdays. You never know if someone might be studying for an important exam or if they want to hit the sack early because they have work the next morning.  

Under the prohibited conduct section of the Student Code of Conduct, disruptive activity includes causing unwarranted noise that disturbs the living communities off-campus. If you are found violating the code of conduct, disciplinary processes can be taken. 

Taking care of your property and the property of those surrounding you is another concern students should be mindful of. For instance, if you live in an apartment where the furniture and amenities were supplied, any damage may affect more people than just you. 

On Aug. 27, the Station at Five Points sent out an email to their residents notifying them of an incident involving water that caused some disorder in the building. The email stated that the “incident was caused by a resident tampering with the sprinkler head in their apartment.” This led to water damage in multiple units and power outages in parts of the complex. 

This situation didn’t hurt just one individual; it also hurt the residents living in these affected units and the residents who had to experience power outages. Living in your own apartment or house doesn’t mean your actions are indestructible and go without consequences for yourself and others.   

Living away from the supervision of freshman year can be fun and teach students vital life lessons about being independent, but students need to remember that no longer living on campus doesn’t excuse them from upholding the proper community living standards.