Housing cracking down with new dorm visitation rules

Adriane Hardin

After receiving complaints last year from students about cohabitation, Housing and Residence Life officials have cracked down on visitation for dorm guests.

Visitors to co-ed dorms will have to leave their IDs at the desk so staff can more closely monitor the amount of time guests spend in the dorms. HRL used to only monitor when guests entered the dorms, not when they left.

Resident assistants in single-sex dorms now have to follow the same visitation hours as their residents, instead of having 24-hour visitation.

While the RA visitation hours are new, the stricter rules about dorm guests have been in place for years. But Brian Kuster, director of Housing and Residence Life, said they have not been enforced.

“We have always had a policy about cohabitation,” he said. “This is not a new policy. We are simply returning to our original policy.”

The HRL policy in the Hilltopics handbook prohibits cohabitation or opposite gender guests from spending excessive time in single-sex dorms. Consequences include loss of visitation or co-ed guest privileges.

Kuster said the main reason for the changes were student complaints about visitors staying in rooms for hours on end.

“A lot of issues have come up about students spending an inordinate amount of time in the room as a guest,” Kuster said.

Complaints occurred most often from students who were upset with their roommate’s guests.

RAs said they were told the new RA visitation policies in single-sex dorms were to promote unity among the residents by having the same policies for everyone.

Visitation hours in dorms remain the same. Guests may visit residents in single gender halls Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to midnight, and 10 a.m. Friday to midnight Sunday. Students living in co-ed residence halls will continue to have 24-hour visitation.

Students and visitors have had mixed responses to the changes.

Campbellsville sophomore Guy Altman, who lives in Pearce-Ford Tower, said the ID changes will help with residents’ safety.

“I think it’s a good thing because it keeps track of who is getting in and out of the dorms,” Altman said.

Marcellus Neel, an RA at Schneider Hall, said most people in his hall have been receptive to leaving their IDs.

“Every once in a while we have a few grumblings, but mostly they’ve accepted it,” he said.

The RAs in McCormack Hall and Keen Hall are having a harder time dealing with the restrictions on RAs. Many have thought about switching dorms so they can have the privilege of 24-hour visitation.

“We’re pretty pissed off about it,” said Cicely Cottrell, an RA in McCormack. “If you’re an RA, you should get special privileges.”

Cottrell said the RAs in her dorm weren’t made aware of the changes until the second week of the semester.

HRL has not received any reports of policy violations since the school year began, Kuster said.

Reach Adriane Hardin at [email protected]