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Thursday, 3 March 2011

Noise rules - residents' survey 2011

In the survey, a few residents complained that noise rules are inconsistently applied: “we’ve been reprimanded for minor noise at 11pm, whereas more serious noise at 2am has gone without any complaint”.

Senior Members can obviously only deal with noise either if they hear it for themselves or if the noise is reported to them by another resident. The rules are consistent; but enforcement
depends on the noise being reported, which may be much less consistent.

The Duty Senior Member makes a tour of the building between 11pm and midnight, so this might be why noise is noticed and dealt with more often at this time.

There is some heterogeneity of opinion on the noise rules and how well they are applied.

We asked you to say how much you agree with two statements:

"Most of the time, I can study and sleep without being disturbed"
Stongly disagree - 0.9%
Disagree - 13.8%
Neither agree nor disagree - 14.7%
Agree - 44.0%
Strongly agree- 26.6%

"Rules about noise, smoking, harassment, etc. are adequately enforced"
Strongly disagree - 1.8%
Disagree - 11.9%
Neither agree nor disagree - 11.0%
Agree - 45.9%
Strongly agree - 29.4%

Here is a selection of comments:

It is too easy for people to get away with consistent noise violations. Punishments are maybe too light.

As our warden has noticed, noise is a problem I find disturbing. I used to go to bed before 11, however I often wake up twice or more during sleep because of the noise, whether its from student gathering at the front door or at the corridor.

At times it is difficult to study due to a few running up and down corridors, and congregating outside rooms. I feel that this would be greatly reduced if, as said before, the common room facilities are improved upon. As it is, it feels as though people should socialise in smaller groups in their rooms, and this brings noise.

People are very loud in the halls after eleven--often as late as three. It happens when drunk people return home. Asking them to be quiet has no effect. Outside is worse. One technically can't tell them to be quiet.

We have very thin walls, but after the Warden's e-mail about noise complaints I think things will get better.

Sometimes I find that my neighbours don't get the fact that after a certain time they should be quiet when they are sitting out in the corridoor. I haven't made any noise complaints because I do get on with them, and it would make it extremely awkward if I did so because they would know it was me. They are always sitting in the corridoor until way past midnight, and are so loud; talking and laughing and banging doors.

A recurrent issue is the noise complaints, but I think everything could be clearer with regard to the handbook. You see, the handbook states that ''You are expected to make no noise audible from outside your room between 11.00 pm and 7.00 am''. But what about the rest of the day? The only thing mentioned is that ''Excessively loud music and other noise are not allowed at any time of day''. But then again how excessive is 'excessive' and what exactly 'other' refer to? Not that I have spent much time thinking about how this could be best verbalised, but I feel that it would be better if it said something like ''You are expected to make no noise audible from outside your room between 11.00 pm and 7.00 am, and during the other times of the day you can make audible from outside your room only the noises that you can't avoid such as the noise from the hairdryer or the electric shaver''.

The rules on my floor seem inconsistent. I have personally been asked to keep the noise down at 11pm when I was laughing with friends in my room (which I responded to) but times when people run up and down the hallway at 2am do not seem to be contacted.

It's be great if people were actually quiet after 11.

I think what the Warden team said in the recent letter about noise is the right thing.

In my halls, the Warden send a very adequate e-mail about the noise complaints, which I think will have a good effect on the residents.

The administration of discipline in the Hall is exactly summed up in the phrase 'adequate, fair, proportionate and reasonable'. The Warden shows a refreshing brilliance with regards to such matters.

I think the administration of discipline is adequate and fair. The recent rules about noise are necessary, and I am satisfied with how discipline is dealt with in Connaught.

Yes, fair, proportionate + reasonable.

Although I understand that noise complaints are serious, I think that the current system is too harsh, particularly as the walls and ceilings are thin and some people get noise complaints just from walking around their rooms. This needs to be taken into consideration.

Noise complaint procedures are quite long winded and excessive, though this has probably cut down the amount of complaints received, which is good.