HRL changing visitation policy

Kayla Swanson

Some students looking to have overnight guests in the dorms may not have an easy time figuring out the rules.

Brian Kuster, director of Housing and Residence Life said the visitation policy for overnight guests in co-ed residence halls is “gray.”

“We try to give students a lot of freedom and choices, but at the same time you need to have some policy so if someone is being abused you have something to go back to,” Kuster said.

Co-ed dorms have 24-hour visitation, but the policy posted stated  overnight guests of the opposite gender weren’t allowed and same gender guests must be approved by the hall director.

“If you have 24-hour visitation, then by definition of 24 hours somebody could check in at anytime,” Kuster said. “We don’t go up and check, we’re not the privacy police.”

The current policy has caused confusion in co-ed dorms like Bates-Runner Hall.

Two posters with the visitation policy on them were placed in Bates at the beginning of the semester.

Glasgow senior Chris Bidwell, a night clerk at Bates, said when the posters went up, students in Bates were confused.

Bidwell, who routinely checks in overnight guests,  said he was never told  how that policy was supposed to work.

When Louisville sophomore Samya Monem, a Bates resident, first heard about the policy, she said it was explained to her in an exaggerated way.

“What we first heard was that we weren’t going to be allowed to have overnight visitors and nobody of opposite gender was going to be able to stay after 12,” Monem said. “That really bothered me because Bates specifically, we’re literally a co-ed dorm — like my next door neighbor is a boy.”

Monem said a lot of people in her dorm don’t understand the policy.

“There seem to be a lot of different stories about what it is, what it isn’t, if there even is a change,” she said.

Bidwell said it was explained to him that the policy is only written the way it is to prevent people from cohabiting.

Cohabitation as defined by HRL is when three people live in a room while only two people pay for it.

Kuster thinks that, over time, the policy on cohabitation and the policy on overnight guests were merged together.

He said HRL is in the process of changing the policy to prevent further confusion, but also let roommates have a say in who could stay over.