Let´s talk about the rules. In Japan it’s all about the rules. Let me tell you about the first thirteen rules that applyed to the AP Houses.
1. Non-residents of AP House are not allowed to stay in AP House from 10 pm to 8 am.
2. It´s compulsory for all AP House residents to attend floor meeting every month. All AP House residents must perform their kitchen duty according to the floor schedules.
3. Smoking is only permitted in the smoking area located “courtyard”. Smoking in non-designated areas are strictly prohibited by Japanese law.
4. Do not do anything which causes disturbance to other residents.
5. Drinking is only allowed in personal rooms. In addition under-age drinking (under 20) is strictly prohibited by law.
6. To save electricity and to prevent robbery, please lock the door when you leave your room.
7. Do not leave kitchen when using micro-wave. IH Heater or toaster.
8. Be careful not to leave your belongings in public space. (Example lobby, kitchen etc)
9. Do not poo in the shower in the shower booth. In addition: please close both outside and inside doors when using the shower booth.
10. Do not leave your personal belongings in aisles. Those belongings may block emergency route.
11. Do not have your ID card close to your cell phone. Cell phone will influence magnetism of ID card and you will not be able to use ID card to enter AP House.
12. You can only park your motor bikes after submitting motor bike registration application form to the university and getting permitted by university. When you park unpermitted motor bike for necessity DO inform the security office. Also please turn off your motor bike engine when you enter the site of AP House.
13. All facilities in AP House belong to the university. Do be careful while using them.
Then there were rules for residents at AP House:
1. Residents are required to pay the stipulated AP House dormitory fees by the deadlines designated by the university.
2. Residents are prohibited from conducting violent, dangerous or criminal behavior. In addition possession of dangerous items (such as knives, flammables, etc) or narcotics are not permitted.
3. Residents are not permitted to consume alcohol in common areas. Respect for other residents shall be shown, and disturbances caused by loud noises or alcohol-induced behavior are prohibited.
4. Residents are required to ensure that visitors observe designated visiting times and are not permitted to stay in private rooms.
5. Residents who have caused any damages to facilities in private rooms or common areas required to report to the Administration Office staff and provide compensation as necessary.
6. Residents are required to participate at scheduled floor meetings and in the management of AP House.
7. Residents are required to make efforts to clean common areas and maintain a clean environment.
8. Residents are required to be conscious of energy conservation, and conserve water and electricity.
9. Residents are required to comply with directions issued by the AP House Director.
10. No smoking in AP House.
Most of the rules were commonsense. The thing with the rules were, even though you knew they were all logical, you still needed them and everybody followed them, everybody.
Other things with AP House was when non-resident came to visit. You had to fill in:
· Time (in/out)
· Department and year
· Name (visitor)
· Name (she/he visit)
· Room number
· Purpose of visiting
The funny thing about this was, everyday 10:10 pm a voice on the speakers said that it was time for non-residents to leave. And the same voice sometimes announced different events, even if it didn’t concern all of the students. I called it the big brother voice.
In AP House there were a couple of computer rooms where you had access to computers and Internet, although not all of the computer rooms were for chatting. There was a special room for chatting, and where you were allowed to chat, you just had to follow the rules.
Then you had the other Internet rooms, with their own rules.
But you know, at the end of the day when I sat in my room alone I felt safe and comfortable. I´ve never met so kind people. Everybody talked to everybody and they were always so curious about where you came from and who you were. The atmosphere at the dormitory was friendly and you knew that whatever you were wondering about you would always find somebody to help you.