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Dear Charlie:

I have some neighbors in the room next to me that are very loud. Every night they are playing video games until at least mid night. This is not usually a problem, but some nights they are loud and yelling at each other or the game until 1 or 2 am on school nights. I have tried asking they to quiet down, and I have explained that I have classes in the morning, but they don't care. I don't know what to do. I have tried earplugs and putting pillows over my head, but they are just too loud. Please send a suggestion. Also one of my RAs quit so the remaining seems too busy to deal with everybody.

Signed: J

Dear J,

Charlie hears that you are dealing with an unwanted problem. You say that you have some neighbors nearby who like to play videogames. At times this is not a problem but at other time it is. You say that they play late at night and into the morning and yell at each other. When this happens, your sleep is disturbed. You say, “please send a suggestion”.

Normally in situations like these, Charlie would suggest that you first confront your neighbors about the noise they are making. The suggestion would include making some assertive statements (i.e., polite but firm) about the situation. You would ask if you could talk to them. Once you have their attention, you would first discuss how you are feeling, and then ask for what you want. So, for example, you might say, “I’m upset by the noise you’re making late at night when I’m trying to sleep”. You might add, “I’m also disappointed that I’ve asked you before but you’ve ignored my request”. You then follow this up by a clear request such as, “I’m asking you to keep the noise down after [pick a time] O’clock at night”. Charlie understands that you’ve tried this once. So the question is whether you want to repeat the request. Sometimes repetition can be useful.

If this doesn’t work, your next option is to take your complaint to residence hall staff. The starting place is your RA. Charlie noted when you said, “one of my RAs quit so the remaining seems too busy”. Charlie would suggest that, busy or not, it is the RA’s job to attend to issues such as this. Charlie encourages you to arrange a time to discuss this with him/her. Hopefully, this will solve the problem. If you address this with your RA but the problem persists, your next option will be to follow the proper protocol as set out by the residence hall organization. This would likely involve speaking to an assistant hall director or hall director. Though it is not always easy to approach people in positions of authority, Charlie wants you to know that my friends in the res hall organization are good listeners and dedicated to helping students like yourself have a good experience of living on campus at BSU.

Hoping this helps you get the peace and quiet you are seeking,

Charlie