Residence hall guest policy remains in place

Editor’s note: This story originally ran in the Aug. 18 freshman edition. It is being reprinted for students who did not move in early.

University students living in the dorms are not allowed to host overnight guests of the opposite sex during the 2006-07 school year. Girls can spend the night in other girls’ rooms and likewise with boys in boys’ rooms. Yet, this means that couples are not permitted to spend the night together and friends of the opposite sex are not allowed to crash in the same room. Many University students disagree with the policy and see the need for it to be changed. “I personally think the overnight guest policy is ridiculous,” said Carly Keller, senior. “If [the University] really does not want us to have opposite sex guests spent the night, why are the buildings co-ed at all?” Similar to years past, regardless of whether the opposite sex guest is a resident of that particular building, another campus residence or a student at the University at all, they are prohibited from staying overnight, according to the Office of Residence Life. The BG News reported last January that an overnight guest policy survey conducted by the Resident Student Association could provide a forum for students to voice their concern regarding this issue. Despite this, the policy remains the same. The student handbook states: “The needs of roommates/suitemates to sleep, study and otherwise be free from interference and disruption as well as the right to privacy are paramount and supersede the right to host an overnight guest in the room/suite.” Some students feel that the overnight guest policy in the dorms is an infringement on their personal rights. “It seems to me when we come to college everyone should be considered an adult and be able to make decisions for themselves,” Keller said. “Who is the University to tell us who we are allowed to have in our personal dorm rooms?” Keller also explained that when she was a resident in Kreischer-Compton these rules were never enforced. On the other hand, administrators say the policy is strongly enforced by the residence hall staff. Sometimes staff members will question an individual in the hall if it’s late at night and they haven’t seen them around before, Vanessa Elola, former residence hall director of Offenhauer Towers told The BG News last year when the policy came under fire when the surveys were first available online. She added that staff members also follow up on complaints they receive about guests. Additionally, guests of any nature are subject to the same rules and expectations as a resident and if the guest violates any of these regulations the host will be held responsible. Guests whose behavior is deemed “inappropriate” may be asked to leave the campus residence, according to the student handbook.