As a student myself, my first and basic instinct will tell me to shout “YES!!!” “Yes, do away with the curfew…please?” And I am very sure that a legion of my fellow hostel ‘inmates’ will plead the same. It would be wonderful to go out shopping till the cows come home or going on dates without having to embarrass ourselves by glancing at our timepieces too often. Most of all, would it not be utterly superb to be able to attend occasions like concerts, raves, launches and parties, that usually carry on till wee hours of the morning, without having to worry about the guard at the door, more affectionately known as ‘pak guard’, not letting us in?
However, before we hear whoops of joy and cheers throughout the region (if this rule be passed), let us ponder but a few seconds on the actual impact of this seemingly magnanimous decision. Let us think along the lines of the basic wh-questions. For example, how would the students react to it? What will students do with their new-found freedom? Who can we hold responsible for the well being of the students then? Most importantly, what are the possible negative effects that will arise from this implementation?
Indeed, this will bring about a relationship that is based solely on honesty and trust by the guardians towards their wards. And ideally speaking (or writing, in this case), we should be able to look forward to a generation of more independent and matured young people who know what to do and when. Letting them experience freedom is a way of letting them know how and how not to use it. Students will probably respond very positively to this step, but is that a good enough reason to lift the curfew? The answer is; not really.
You see, living in a hostel would mean that you are living with a whole bunch of other people who consist of mainly your friends, acquaintances, colleagues and the occasional enemy. These people will share an identity similar to yours and that would be that you and they are students of XXX Institute and that you all live together in XXX Hostel. Now, can you deny the fact that there are some, shall we say, rather difficult people whom you know living right in your own block? Let us take this person that you have in mind as our specimen for the following cases.
How would you like it if this specimen went out, got: A. (for people whom you dislike) involved with some sort of vice like drinking or fooling around with members of the opposite sex, or B. (for people whom you really like) was robbed or beaten up? Mind you, these are all nocturnal activities that happen quite regularly within our country and chances are, it might happen to your friend. I trust that no one would want those things to happen to their friends. So, here is one way of preventing unwanted incidences from occurring; lay down a curfew to protect our students. After all, they may not know what they are doing is wrong or dangerous.
In cases such as the above, students who stay out too late at night not only bring trouble to themselves, they also risk the reputation of their fellow hostel friends and the college itself. As I have mentioned earlier, people tend to identify and regard members of a particular college similarly. So, if one person commits an offence, the whole party’s reputation will be at stake. Of course, the worst part of it is that without curfews to remind the conscience of the students, students may ‘forget’ the time and expose themselves to dangers out there. Therefore, concern for the security of all members of the college hostel should also support the need for a curfew system as a precaution tool.
I know for a fact that there are bound to be parties screaming “Control!” right this moment, and I can certainly relate to that. Many hostel occupants feel that curfews represent the control and repression that the college is inflicting upon them. Well I would have to agree with them there, however, I feel that that is just one way of viewing it. Another would be seeing curfews as part of a system that is necessary in the administrations of a college hostels. Curfews are part and parcel of hostel life because it embodies one of the most basic elements that the college would expect of its students; that is discipline.
After all, what are students without discipline? While we are living as a family in the college hostel, we should hold the responsibility of caring for one another and adhering to the rules is just one way of showing care and consideration towards others. One way of making living with a curfew easier is to see it not as a restriction, but as a gentle reminder that helps us keep to our schedules. It is a guide that aids us in disciplining ourselves. In fact, would you not agree that we ourselves could sleep more soundly every night knowing that our friends and fellow hostel mates are safely home?