Satire: New lockout policy leaves students living in the lounges
Can’t afford to sleep in your own bed? Try a lounge couch today!
The following piece is satire and should not be misconstrued for actual reporting. Any resemblance to a student, staff or faculty member is coincidental.
Whether it was a rush to the bathroom or a run to keep the Grubhub driver from waiting, the American University Housing Defense and Security Office will now charge a pricey $5000 fee each time a student locks themselves out after a second lockout. With the new change in procedure, students across campus are having to rework their already tight budgets to account for a small, yet costly, mistake.
The policy came about following administrative outrage that college students are not used to living in a three-scan building.
“So I was rushing downstairs ‘cause my Grubhub driver was waiting and I just forgot my card. I did what I was told to and went to the front desk to have them call Housing to send someone to open my door. Then, the Housing employee goes and asks how I’ll be paying the fee. How messed up is that?” said Sasha Lorenzo, who lives on the sixth floor of Anderson Hall.
Lorenzo continued to explain how she does not have a roommate and is on a strict budget of $40 per week. She simply could not pay this unforeseen cost.
“The guy was like, ‘Best of luck to ya,’ and left me with my food outside my door, so I went to the lounge. That's when it hit me,” she said.
After she finished dinner, Lorenzo set up the couch in her lounge with flags from around the room for sheets and got ready to crash there for the next couple of nights until her budget reset the next Monday. She also gathered some of the flyers from around the room and balled them up for insulation to keep warm in the freezing lounge. Using some communal utensils, she decided to rip up some of the carpet to fashion some fresh clothes until she could afford to pay the fee to reenter her room.
“I really don’t think I’ve ever felt more gross. I’ve been wearing a carpet for two days because AU needs more of my money!” she said.
Lorenzo employed more colorful language to describe her frustration with the Office of Housing and Residence Life. When The Seagle reached out to Housing and Residence Life with her story, they released a statement:
“We understand that this fee may require some readjusting in weekly budgets for our students, but we must fine students for having us do our job correctly. Thank you.”
In reconnecting with Lorenzo following the release of the statement, The Seagle reports that she is still sleeping on the couch in the Anderson sixth floor lounge.
“Yeah, I haven’t slept and the flyers are barely keeping me warm at night. I don’t have my Brita, so I’ve had to boil the water in a pot and then chill it to drink,” Lorenzo said.
When asked what is expected of students who fail to pay the cost of entering their rooms, the Office of Housing and Residence Life stated, “With so many lockouts, this will help us fund our weekly luncheons.”
As lounges see an exponential increase in usage and deconstruction of materials for survival, The Seagle will continue to cover the situation. With this policy’s end nowhere in sight, The Seagle expects to follow up with those affected.
Jared Bowes is a freshman in the School of Public Affairs and is a satire columnist for The Eagle.
This article was edited by Alexis Bernstein and Nora Sullivan. Copy editing was done by Isabelle Kravis, Sarah Clayton, Natasha LaChac and Leta Lattin.