Students are asked to sign a Community Covenant when they apply to the College and again during welcome week of their first year. The Community Covenant, among other things, prohibits alcohol consumption, smoking, drug use, sex, dishonesty, theft, and violating visitation rules. Most freshmen uphold the covenant, but as first-year students become sophomores and sophomores become juniors, there is a noticeable decline in respect for the rules, perhaps because the covenant is no longer fresh in their minds or they simply realize how little supervision there actually is. If a student does get caught breaking the covenant, punishments are usually lenient. RAs are known to let people off with warnings, and first-time violations are met with an e-mail from the RD.
Messiah College may have many rules for its students, but they are rarely enforced. The campus operates on an honor code, and the majority of freshmen abide by this code. In fact, many are paranoid about religiously following the rules, without justifiable reason. However, with common sense, the only possible way to get caught breaking the rules is at the hands of a tattletale. And, obviously, don’t walk into your RA’s room with a bottle of Jack or go parading your boyfriend around at 2 a.m. Even though there are visitation rules, there are no routine room checks, visitors to dorms are not required to sign-in, and residents don’t need to show ID upon entrance.