Mythbusters: Quiet Hours at Fordham


Published: November 8, 2007

Virtually everyone can recount a tale that continues to circulate despite the lack of any factual basis. Is the existence of quiet hours at Fordham one of these urban legends? In the wake of this fall’s midterm season, when silence is golden during exam study sessions, we asked students whether the existence and enforcement of quiet hours in McMahon is fact or fiction.

According to Fordham’s Student Handbook, during the jolly time of exams, quiet hours apply all day. This regulation is supposed to protect residents from having to listen to  classmates barrel down the hallways or have unnecessarily loud conversations while smoking in front of McMahon Hall. Yet most students say they don’t really seem to mind the noise creeping into their rooms, if they even hear noise to begin with.

“I can’t really hear my neighbors, ever—even on weekend nights,” said Lauren Opper, FCLC ’10.

Opper isn’t alone in her assertion, as students generally agree that they haven’t encountered problems with noise, with floors two through five, the freshmen floors, being the only exceptions. Yet even the freshmen residing on these floors of McMahon seem to find quiet hours to be an unnecessary practice.

“While you can hear [the people downstairs] at all hours of the night, it’s really easy to just close your window.  Under no circumstance should they be forced in at a given hour,” said Anndrew Vacca, FCLC ’11.

Resident Assistant Ryan Hopkins admits that RAs generally don’t crack down on the occaisional loud dorm. Even if they have to check in, fines are only given as a result of a direct complaint from roommates or neighbors.

“I have heard complaints about noise, but it’s mostly freshmen and even those are rare,” Hopkins said.

Many students said that they don’t like to report noise, either because they genuinely can’t hear their neighbors or they don’t want to be ‘that’ roommate.

While Alex Muniz, FCLC ’08, admits that some of her neighbors can be a little loud at times, it doesn’t really bother her.

“I know them, so it’s OK.  The only way I would report it would be if it sounded like someone was hurt, and even then I’d probably knock myself first,” Muniz said.

In the rare instances that noise does come up, residents tend to take the disturbances in stride, preferring to not get into a big ordeal with the culprits.

“The most noise I’ve dealt with were the sweet morning melodies sung by Father Grimes. I chose not to call in a complaint, even though he very well knew it was quiet hours,” said Anthony Sylvester, FCLC ’08.

Due to a consistent pattern of student commentary, it’s safe to say that the enforcement of quiet hours is a myth, but most students don’t feel there is a pressing need for it anyway.