By Emily Mattis

A Residence Hall Association committee is working with the Housing and Residence Life office to change the visitation policy in the residence halls.

The current policy leaves students and student employees with different interpretations of what the policy actually means. The Residence Life Advisory Team committee advised the Housing and Residence Life office to remove the policy on first-year visitation, which would make all students in the residence halls under one policy.

RHA’s executive board started the semester wanting to do something memorable. It formed the RELATE committee to tackle problems within the residence halls and find better solutions for them.

Brianna Berry, President of RHA and the chair of this new committee, along with other committee members made a list of possible challenges in the residence hall and had an overwhelming response from the RHA general board to draft a change to the visitation policy in the halls.

The committee met each week and read through the current visitation policy along with several examples from other state schools before drafting ideas for change.

Although RELATE has submitted their idea to Housing and Residence Life for further discussion, Berry is unsure of when the changes could occur. If this policy would take effect, first-year students who would currently be unable to have overnight visitation on weeknights–Monday through Thursday–and have limited visitation on the weekends would be able to have unlimited visitation like upperclassmen.

With the suggested new visitation policy, first-year students would have the same visitation policy as the upperclassmen, making all the residents under one policy: unlimited visitation for the whole week. All students could have up to three visitors at a time for a three day period in a week.

Students complained that the policy was too difficult to understand while student employees all had different interpretations of the policy.

“I understand that they don’t want us to get in trouble, but at the same time they say we are adults and that we should take responsibility for our actions. Then they give us all these limitations. We’re adults so they should treat us like it,” said freshman Jennica LeClers.

When asked about her opinion on the current visitation policy, Kristi Shorter, a senior desk receptionist in Beck Hall said, “I stand by it. Some people say it’s too strict, but I think it helps keep people safe.”

There are still a few changes being made and the committee has been working with the Housing and Residence Life office on solidifying the changes that could possibly be implemented next year or not at all.

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