Thursday, December 15, 2016

TOEFL speaking question #3 - sample

This sample is based on a situation which happened at an all-women's college in New York:

Notice from the Office of College Security Concerning Dorm Building Safety

As you may have read in the news, there have been two violent assaults against college-age women in our neighborhood within the past three weeks. In coordination with the Office of the Dean, the Office of Security is instituting the following changes within the dormitory system to ensure maximum security for all students of this college.

As has been the case, entry to the dorms will be allowed only if a student has a proper school ID. Visitors are welcome, but they must also show a valid form of ID (State ID or Driver's License or other University ID). The new policy will, however, involve visitors to the dorms. A visitor must now be met at the security desk by the person being visited. The time the person arrives and the time the person leaves will be recorded. Male visitors to our all-female campus must be escorted by a registered student or member of our community at all times. Again, male visitors must not be allowed to move about any of the dorm facilities unless they are escorted by someone from the college community. Unescorted male visitors may be removed from the premises by security and students responsible for these unescorted visitors can be disciplined with a fine or other measures.

We hope these new measures will help ensure maximum safety at our campus. We apologize for any inconvenience.


Meagan: Kelly, someone told me you got fined by the college. What happened?

Kelly: My boyfriend came over to visit. We were hanging out in my dorm room and, basically, at one point he left my room to go to the bathroom.

Meagan: But didn't you read the notice from Security? Guys can't walk about the dorms freely any more.

Kelly: Oh come on. He walked down the hallway to go to the bathroom. I am supposed to escort my boyfriend to the bathroom and stand outside waiting for him? How absurd is that? That is totally messed up. 

Meagan: I can see your point, I'm just wondering where the school needs to draw the line.

Kelly: Well they need to draw the line at what's reasonable and what isn't. They aren't doing that now. The bathroom is literally 10 yards from my room. Security acted as if he was a terrorist when they saw him walking back to my room. They grabbed him by the arm and took him to my room to see whether I knew him, then they wrote me out a ticket right there and then for $100. Why be so damn ridiculous? This was no big deal.

Meagan: Yeah, I have to admit it seems a bit excessive to bust a guy for going to the john. (explanation: 'going to the john' means going to the bathroom).

Kelly: Also, these frigging security guards have too damn much power now. They act like damn fascists. Yesterday I went down to meet my boyfriend at the security desk and the guard said, "Oh you're seeing him again tonight, huh?" I was so pissed off! This new system robs us of our privacy and allows these damn guards to act like our moral superiors.

Meagan: I agree. I'm glad I live off campus and don't have to put up with this crap. 

How does Kelly feel about the new security regulations at the dorms?


Sample Answer:

Due to a couple violent assaults against college-age women in the neighborhood. a college has changed its security policy for its all-female dorms. Basically, male guests must have a valid ID and must be escorted at all times in the dorms.

Kelly has just had a terrible experience because of this policy and is dead set against it. First of all, she doesn't think that the policy has a clear-cut line as to what is reasonable and unreasonable behavior. Her boyfriend was stopped and humiliated by security just because he went to the bathroom, which was only about 10 yards from Kelly's room. She feels it is ridiculous to punish her for something so minor.

Secondly, Kelly feels that this new policy is too invasive and takes away a student's right to privacy. Basically these security guards seem to be making inappropriate and rude comments to students based on who their visitors are and how frequently they come. Therefore they seem to be making moral judgments based on their belief, perhaps, that the students are having sexual relations with the guys they bring into the dorm. 

Clearly, the administration's desire to provide absolute security for its students seems to have some personal freedom glitches.

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