Should College Students Be Allowed To Airbnb Their Dorm Rooms?

Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Dorm life can be rough. The shower mold seems more ominous with every episode of House you watch, roommates can be loud, and if you actually sit down and do the math, you often realize your cinder block cell is more expensive than a nice apartment in your hometown. But where some students saw a place to crash between classes, Emerson College sophomore, Jack Worth, saw a real estate opportunity — and his school isn't happy.
The Boston Globe reports Worth had three separate Airbnb boarders chilling in his dorm room this January. Now, according to Worth, he's in trouble with his school. Emerson College says it's against the rules that Worth would have agreed to rent out his dorm. Worth, however, contends, "I was not looking to put anyone in danger, and I didn’t see my actions as doing so." He explained he looked into the people who would be staying in his room, even running the idea of boarders past his fellow dorm mates.

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So, should students be allowed to put their rooms on Airbnb? While Emerson points out its rule is meant to protect students from potentially dangerous guests, most schools have few restrictions on what kind of guests can accompany residents into their dorms. Meanwhile, over 300 supporters of the Change.org petition, "Free Jack Worth" seem to think that renting out their dorm room should be a right allotted to college students.
As one of Worth's Emerson classmates explains on the petition, "Jack Worth gave travelers from far and wide a taste of Boston life and the Emerson experience simply because he wanted to help those who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford to stay in the downtown area. If the Emerson community is as inclusive as it claims to be, it should act it."
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