My roommate has smuggled alcohol into the room. What shall I do? On one hand, it shouldn’t be any of my business what he chooses to drink. On the other hand, it’s absolutely illegal, I may get blamed for it, and I am against alcohol in general anyway. My current thought is that, when I leave, I will put up a note, either on the room door or the refrigerator door saying something like “I hereby relieve myself from responsibility of all substances contained within this refrigerator with the exception of sparkling water. — Simon Rubinstein-Salzedo.” My roommate also seems to think it’s a good idea to leave the refrigerator door open for long periods of time. I think it has been open for about twelve hours now. I’m surprised it’s not an oven in here. I guess some people don’t realize that a refrigerator is a heating device. Where does he think the heat goes though? Does he think it just disappears? Does he think it gets converted into usable energy? Well, there’s a thought. It’s a shame that that doesn’t happen.

Oh yes, I mentioned leaving, didn’t I? Well, that may be somewhat more of a problem that I had anticipated. I just made an attempt to book my train ride home on Amtrak. Whoever designed the website must have been really stupid. I tried entering my credit card information, and it said there was an illegal character in my name. (I presume that would be the hyphen, and why it would be illegal is beyond me.) Then I tried taking the hyphen out. Of course, then it wouldn’t accept the information since the name didn’t match the name on the card. Therefore, I have a difficult situation: how do I get home? I’m trying to leave on Wednesday. That’s not much time for me to get things straightened out.


About Simon

Hi. I'm Simon Rubinstein-Salzedo. I'm a mathematics postdoc at Dartmouth College. I'm also a musician; I play piano and cello, and I also sometimes compose music and study musicology. I also like to play chess and write calligraphy. This blog is a catalogue of some of my thoughts. I write them down so that I understand them better. But sometimes other people find them interesting as well, so I happily share them with my small corner of the world.
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41 Responses to

  1. rippledance says:

    o.O Your roommate is terrible. Any interest in speaking to him about it?

  2. xsuperherox says:

    Kill him and hide his body in pieces inside the refrigerator. That way the fridge door is closed and you wouldn’t have to worry about your roommate getting you in trouble again. Nobody will notice his absence.
    Just some friendly advice from a fellow UCSBer.

  3. just know that just about everyone in ucsb has beer in their room, so the beer policy would be pretty lenient…maybe
    i be against beer also, i act drunk even when im sober so what would happen when i actually am?!

  4. Anonymous says:

    You should be able to reserve by phone (as much as you hate to use one …) at
    1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245). A human operator just may be able to deal with the hyphen issue.

  5. Anonymous says:

    You may want to talk to your room mate about the beverage issue. The problem is that possession of alcohol by a minor is a criminal offense. Thus, even if you do not drink you can have a problem. Someone could argue that because the beverage is stored in a room shared by both of you, you are “in possession”. In short, you may get a share of the blame even though you have nothing to do with this.
    Good luck & welcome to real life …

    • mousie1389 says:

      Re: Alcohol
      Hence Simon’s intent to tape a note on the door saying he’s not responsible…

      • Anonymous says:

        Re: Alcohol
        You mean you are going to voluntarily provide documentary proof of your knowledge of having illegal beverages in your room, and hence of your culpability …

        • Simon says:

          Re: Alcohol
          Actually, that wasn’t the point. The point would be to notify my roommate that I am aware of his evil-doings and of my disapproval of them. After that, I’ll leave the matter to his discretion. If he has even the least bit of intelligence, he will remove the illegal substances.

          • dksph says:

            Re: Alcohol
            Hmm. Yeah, possession of alcohol by minors breaks the law. Perhaps your roommate doesn’t really care about the law, though. In that event, there’s nothing wrong in his mind about storing alcohol.
            Another similar situation is when you’re in someone else’s room, and they have pirated music playing. Is it right to ask them to turn it off? Etc.
            I don’t know.

  6. teratoma says:

    There is a good chance that until you posted this message, your roommate and yourself were the only persons aware of alcohol in the room

  7. Anonymous says:

    sup simon
    This is Eddie. Hows it going? Just thought I’d add my two cents on the problem of alcohol and dorm rooms. Possession by a minor is indeed against the law. However, it is worth considering the reasons for this law and the moral values it is supposedly enforcing. Why is it wrong for people under 21 to possess alcohol in the united states? It is not wrong in canada, it is not wrong in great britain, or much of the rest of the world. The reason is not to protect minors from themselves, because how does age have anything to do with maturity or ability to handle alcohol? Also, it should be noted that this law is rarely enforced on its own. When people are caught, it is usually in conjunction with DUI, drunk in public, or public urination…etc. If you have alcohol in your fridge, and no one can see or smell it, no one will know its there. If there are beer cans lying on the ground, people will see them.
    I guess my point is you won’t get in trouble, unless you cause a disturbance worth investigating or there is alcohol in plain view. Aside from that, I think you should respect your roommates privacy and ignore it.

    • Simon says:

      Re: sup simon
      It is in plain view though. It’s in the refrigerator, which he insists on leaving open. I accidentally closed the refrigerator today and didn’t bother reopening it since that would just be stupid. I then went away for a few hours, and when I returned, the refrigerator door was open again. I don’t understand what he’s trying to do.

    • Re: sup simon
      actually, the body’s resistance to addiction is lower when younger.

  8. Anonymous says:

    well, i guess that adds to the reasons why I shouldn’t go to UCSB 🙂

  9. i don’t know you…
    but i’ve read a few of your posts, as i am very bored and was looking at things on the ucsb livejournal and ended up here. not to be a bad guy, or rather, yes, quite to be the bad guy, i turned in my roommate for doing illegal things in my room. he was an ass, most of the time locking me out of my room (after borrowing my keys so that he could get in, seeing as how he had locked his own in the room)… one day, he was having a drinking and pot smoking party in the room while i was out and i returned to have him tell me i couldn’t come in (he didn’t want me seeing, obviously) so, i told an RA and they took care of him… i don’t know if he still goes to school here, but he is a fairly worthless bastard, except for the fact that he plays the guitar very well.
    the point: if it becomes a major problem, i’d just turn him in. if he’s a good roommate in all other aspects (barring the odd refrigerator sitation) leave well enough alone but make sure he knows that you’re not going to take any blame for his alcohol preferences.
    as a reply to your email about college being worthless (on ucsb’s lj, where it said the majority of your time will be spent learning things you’re going to forget anyway): that doesn’t apply to all students, just the ones who don’t know what they’re here for. obviously, having read the last few posts in your lj, you know what you feel like learning. i also know what i want to learn and what will be valuable to me in life, thus i am a CCS student and am going to take care to learn only that which i won’t have reason to forget. for the most part, ucsb is full of children (yes, children) who want to get through college, have as much fun as possible, and then go onto being an adult. adults at ucsb are few and far between.
    congratulations on knowing what you want…

    • Simon says:

      Re: i don’t know you…
      Thank you for your comment. I think I essentially agree with your assessments. I wouldn’t call my roommate a good roommate in any way (I believe that that requires positive attributes), but (apart from the alcohol), he is no worse of a roommate than I. Neither one of us has the least bit of respect for the other, I would say.
      I am saddened by your assessment of “most” UCSB students. I suppose I didn’t expect every student to be a great student, but at least UCSB is a moderately prestigious school. I suppose it’s none of my business though. I can make sure that the people with whom I make acquaintance are serious students, and then I will be surrounded by those who share the same passion for the acquisition of knowledge.

      • Re: i don’t know you…
        one thing for you to keep in mind: ucsb has only quite recently (past three years, maximum) been out of the top ten party schools. and, while parts of it are quite prestigious, most of it is fanfare to get kids to go to school here. (yay, the grades and sat scores are higher than previous years, but schools in general are getting easier for kids and the sat’s are being studied for hours in classrooms so that they can take the tests…)
        one question: are you in ccs? most of what you’re saying makes me think you are…?

        • Simon says:

          Re: i don’t know you…
          Yes, I am in CCS.

          • Re: i don’t know you…
            well then, you are a blessed child indeed: i came into ucsb as a letters and sciences student but quickly realized that the majority of l&s kids were the ones i thought would never make it out of high school… once i found ccs, i began the application process and so have escaped l&s. to tell you the honest truth, if the only people you’ve come across at college have been ccs, chances are you still have a utopic vision of what college is like. if you came across more l&s students, you would realize the dire straights that are school is in, as far as a desire to learn goes. most of them were born well of and never worked for anything, and as such, are here only for a diploma. doesn’t exactly make for a community where people are craving knowledge (like you and i do). ccs is the best place for people like you (and me)… consider yourself lucky.

            • Re: i don’t know you…
              arg… sorry for the spelling mistake: our, not are… as well as off instead of “of” in that third to last sentence… *sigh* and to think, i’m a literature major…

  10. Anonymous says:

    The facts
    The only way to get in trouble for this is to be actively “caught” with alcohol in the room (i.e., in plain sight when the RA stops by, etc.). Note that sometimes maintenance will alert the RA or the Resident Director if they come across alcohol.
    In the event that this happens, you will _both_ be held liable. In your housing contract there is a clause that states complicity implies equal responsibility. While mainly applied to persons who claimed not to be drinking in a room with a party, it also applies to this situation.
    However, as long as you are not caught actually imbibing, and your roommate accepts responsibility for the presence of the alcohol, it is entirely likely that while you will be documented, you will just be let off with a warning, if you have to meet with the Resident Director at all.
    Who am I? Not saying, although I am a member of UCSB Housing Staff. We don’t _want_ to document, but sometimes people make us . . .

  11. Anonymous says:

    Ouch. Sleep more today.

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