Responding to complaints from some students, Tufts University wants to bar sexual activity in the presence of another roommate in its dorms.
But some students say it's unenforceable.
The policy - which took effect this semester - reads, "You may not engage in sexual activity while your roommate is present in the room. Any sexual activity within your assigned room should not ever deprive your roommate(s) of privacy, study, or sleep time."
Senior political science major Rick Zeckendorff scoffed at the provision.
"It sounded pretty ridiculous to me the first time that I heard about it," he said. "Because it's unenforceable. People in those situations aren't thinking in terms of the law or school regulations."
But the Office of Residential Life was thinking about the well-being of all students when it adopted the rule, according to university spokeswoman Kim Thurler. She said the office had received about 12 sex-related complaints in the last two years from students.
"It really all comes down to respect and consideration between roommates," she said, adding that to her knowledge, no students have reported infractions so far.
Rebecca Wang, a sophomore majoring in biomedical engineering, felt the rule change was "reasonable" to promote a cordial living arrangement, while conceding that, "it might be unenforceable."
Sean Siebert, a sophomore with the same major, remembered signing a similar contract last year in his residence hall. But he believes the matter is best left to students.
"I think it's more of a personal decision between roommates," he said.