Thanks to Grinnell’s policy of self-governance, campus strictness is quite possibly among the most lenient of any college in the country. The concept is that students are responsible for monitoring their own behavior and that of their fellow students. If you turn your music up too loud at 1 a.m. on a school night and you hear a knock on the door, you’re more likely to find your neighbor than a security guard. Self-governance was founded on the principle that only behavior that endangers other students is worthy of intervention by any outside force, and students and faculty alike adhere to this.
Unfortunately, this policy may not be around forever. Occasionally, there are suggestions to have the policy made official in order to save it from being eliminated. So far, though, no one has taken much action. Another factor that contributes to the reigning benevolent anarchy on campus is the fact that rather than paid resident advisers, Grinnell has volunteer student advisers living on each floor. Since the SAs aren’t paid, they don’t feel overly obligated to report every unlawful incident that happens on their floor. In fact, SAs often drink and smoke right along with their first-years.