Citing an alarming trend of deteriorating mental health on campus, Caltech administration announced today that all acts of crying are to be prohibited in shared spaces for undergraduates, effective immediately.
An email sent to the Caltech community states: “No acts of weeping, shedding of tears, or wailing and gnashing of teeth are to be allowed in common house areas, such as lounges, dining halls and alleys. Crying will only be allowed within a private room with the door closed, provided no minors are present. Any unauthorized display of such contraband liquids will be met with swift disciplinary action.”
When questioned on the policy, Student Affairs liaison John Dwight said he anticipated that a stronger stance on crying would stamp out problematic behavior. “Students have gone on whining long enough,” said Dwight. “Do you have any idea how difficult it is to raise funds when we have to deal with the PR of kids tearing up over their sets every couple days?”
Reception to the announcement has been mixed, however. Some students are less than confident that the policy will be beneficial. “This is just going to encourage people to cry alone in their rooms, and that’s incredibly unhealthy,” said Sabrina Gonzalez, ‘18. “If some frosh is crying uncontrollably, you don’t want them to be somewhere no one can see them—or help them.” Others have pointed out the dangers of the increase in campus security involvement necessitated by the new rules. “There’s going to be a loss of trust between guards and the students they’re supposed to protect,” said Darshan Pressley, ‘20. “If I break down in the middle of the hallway and start sobbing, how can I trust Security to help me back to my room?”
In response, Dwight has largely shrugged off these concerns, framing the issue as a question of personal responsibility. “If a student self-destructs because they were crying excessively, then they made bad choices,” he said when asked to elaborate.
As a follow-up, Student Affairs is also considering a possible Internet ban to combat undergraduate procrastination, to be discussed next month.