After the Resident Student Association (RSA) brought a 24-hour visitation proposal to University Housing last spring, the department began to consider ways to bring their ideas for unlimited visitation to reality.
This proposal was the first time that 24-hour visitation had been brought to the attention of the Housing Office. Beginning in September, Housing staff held weekly meetings to consider all issues relevant to the implementation of a 24-hour visitation pilot project. Due to the variety of people that it will affect, the pilot will be implemented in Scott Hall only.
Director of University Housing Suzie Orr is currently gathering opinions and ideas from students through various survey methods. From the information gathered thus far, she has discovered that students want to be allowed to have guests at any time of the day or night, but are content with the rules that are in effect about the escorting of guests. “Students want 24- hour visitation but don’t want anything to change [policy wise],” said Orr.
However, according to Orr, some policies, such as those governing escorts, would have to change during the pilot program. Under the program, guests wouldn’t be allowed to move throughout the building unescorted. New policies would also have to be enacted during the pilot’s trial period. A “sign in” desk would be set up so that all guests entering Scott Hall would be logged in case of emergencies.
Roommate contracts and cooperation would be of greater importance as well. Resident assistants would be responsible for making sure residents understand and agree on a visitation schedule that best suits each student. Currently there are no restrictions planned for when a student may have guests, however Orr mentioned that during the pilot’s trial that they may discover that there might be a need for restrictions. “Bottom line, the students are asking for it, and we’re asking ‘How do we get it?'” Orr said.
The pilot program would restrict students entering through Scott’s exterior doors except the one chosen as the main entrance. There, a student would sign in sign his or her guest(s) at the desk.
So far there have been no planned structural changes to Scott, but Orr said that after the pilot has been completed they would review the results and determine if any changes structural or policy wise would need to be considered.
Students would be responsible for their guests, escorting them in the halls and would be responsible for any violations they commit. Residents could be sanctioned and even lose their visitation privileges if they abuse the policy even during its pilot stage.
The pilot program was originally slated for the upcoming Spring semester. However, the pilot has yet to be considered by the Chancellor or WCU’s Board of Directors. The board’s next meeting is planned for December, but the pilot will unlikely be discussed until they meet in March.
If it is approved, Orr plans for the program to be in effect in the Fall semester of 2001. If the pilot is not approved, then Orr will review the program, gather more information from students, and begin the process again.
Although the pilot is being considered only for Scott Hall, the results from the pilot will determine if the policy is considered for other residence halls. However, it may also be expanded if Scott is split on its success. Students wishing to support or voice concern over the proposed project should speak with their RA or RHC representative.