Exceptions to the rules


Sascha Sebastian Rühl/The Chart

Junior graphic design major, Michael Flater and Sascha Sebastian Rühl, with Congi in Stone Hall Apartment complex on the dorm side of Missouri Southern’s campus

My own two-floor apartment, a campus where we stored a box of beer in our classroom and generally not a lot rules to care about. That was my life in Germany. Now I live in a residence hall at Missouri Southern where I feel sometimes like 15 and not 26.

“Do you guys know that you have a bunch of alcohol in your rooms? And we found a little crossbow,” asked the campus police officer standing in our door when we came home from a party. A 911 call from somewhere around Stone Hall let campus police check all residence halls. A bottle of Scotch and several beer cans on the table were the reason to search our rooms a bit more thoroughly than others.

I needed a while to get used to the whole dry campus thing. Recently, as I hid under a friend’s bed, a German beer in my hand, while an RA checked out a room, I started to think about the rules exceptions on campus.

“Why the heck is the dry campus’ football field sponsored by a beer brand?” was my first thought. They’re not allowed to enjoy a beer during the games, but they can enjoy the game because of a beer brand’s money.

The second dealt with my little toy crossbow that probably found a new home now in the public safety center. All kinds of arms are forbidden here, which I support now, as non-crossbow owner. But isn’t it weird that we have a shooting range and a few dozen pistols, shotguns and assault rifles on campus in the criminal justice building? They took my toy and gave me three credit hours for firing guns on campus and to learn how to shoot an intruder. And why are the ashtrays directly in front of the entrances while we have a 50 feet rule for smoking on campus?

There aren’t now lots more rules to break for me; fortunately, I could check the last one off the previous week. Between the dorms we found Congi, a runaway dog who was adopted by us in the same minute.

“So far he’s not dangerous or injured we have no possibility to get a pick up now,” said the campus police officer after we hadn’t the luck to contact the owner.

We asked the officer like little boys their dad: “Can we keep him?”

While I drove to Walmart to get some food for the hungry escaper, the same officer was so nice to bring a can.

This night, Congi was everywhere: in the bed, on the couch, on the floor and in the bathroom. Our dorm-dog on a pet-free campus. A nice exception at the end.

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Perspectives from Abroad is an ongoing column by Sascha Sebastian Rühl, exploring Missouri Southern and American life through the eyes of an international student.