As Sophomore Hala Rharrit turned the key to the door of her Fulbright Hall room, she was startled by a screaming voice – her roommate frantically asking her to wait before she came in. Rharrit got the hint. Her roommate had her boyfriend over and she could not enter her room – she was “sexiled.”
It happened a few weekends ago when her mother was visiting her for the weekend. They were stopping by the room to print her mother’s travel itinerary when they were surprised to walk in on Rharrit’s roommate with her boyfriend. She said her roommate had not expected them back from the Eastern Market so early.
“My mother is more conservative than most,” Rharrit said. “If it was just me, then I would have been OK with it. But it was embarrassing because my mother was with me.”
She said they waited for about 10 minutes outside the door until she and her mother could enter the room.
The previous weekend, Rharrit said both her roommates had their boyfriends visiting. Her friends were with her when she walked in on one of them with her boyfriend. She said she quickly grabbed her books and left the room to give them privacy.
A few hours later, she said she decided to go back to the room only to walk in on her other roommate with her boyfriend.
“It’s not a big deal even though it can be an inconvenience sometimes,” Rharrit said. “I voluntarily leave and completely understand that they need their privacy.”
Rharrit said the roommates have decided to talk about having boyfriends over in advance, especially when parents visit. Communication is important, she said.
This is a common occurrence on college campuses, where students often share rooms with each other. Some students have developed a system or “code” to warn their roommates no to come in, but most interviewed for this story said they simply talk about it ahead of time to avoid inconvenience.
Freshman Mount Vernon resident Olivia Delmonte has been sexiled before, but she said it did not upset her. Her roommate spoke to her about it in advance and made sure she was not inconvenienced by having to leave the room.
“If it had been at the beginning of the year, I might have been more upset,” she said. “I didn’t know anyone at that point and would have no where to go.”
Delmonte said the roommate agreement she signed with her roommate at the beginning of the year helped establish rules when it came to having boyfriends spend the night.
Overall, she said having to leave the room when her roommate has someone over does not bother her.
“It can be fun,” Delmonte said. “You can spend the night at a friend’s room and have a sleepover.”
Sophomore Zach Morris said he was sexlied at the university he transferred from but did not have a problem with it since he had advanced warning.
He said that policies between roommates are important to avoid upsetting someone or putting a roommate in a bad situation.
Morris said his girlfriend’s roommate often got upset about having to leave the room when he visited.
“Most guys seem more relaxed than girls when it comes to (being sexiled),” he said.
Junior Chris Correia said he has been sexiled before, and that usually it is usually not planned. He would come back to find the door locked and be unable to get in, he said.
Correia said it can get annoying at times but does not happen often.
Sophomore Nitya Royapet said her roommates have been more considerate than most, but she said she has heard horror stories from friends who come home late with nowhere to go.
“When I’ve had someone over in the past, my roommates have been considerate,” she said. “They leave at their own will.”
Royapet said that it is important to establish a policy or discuss situations like this with roommates before it happens.
She said it seems that women are more uptight than men about being sexiled.
“It’s more acceptable to (men) for some reason,” she said.
Senior Bobby Barnett said it did not bother him when a roommate would bring someone home. He said the only time it would upset him was if he was sleeping in the room at the same time.
“The key is to respect the roommate,” Barnett said.
-Shannon Derby contributed to this report.