Student Reps Present 24-hour Visitation Options

On Wednesday and Thursday, a group of students will present a proposal for the implementation of 24-hour visitation in WCU’s residence halls.

Nicole Reato, president of the Resident Student Association, Jonathan Rowe, student body president, and David Whitaker will make the presentation to the board for the pilot program, who will take a final vote on the issue in March 2001.

The program, which would initially only be offered in Scott Hall, has four options, according to Rowe. The first and second options offer either full-time or weekend-only round the clock visitation and call for modifications to the building, such as alarms and a 24-hour sign-in desk.

The third option is full-time 24-hour visitation with “minimal” modifications to the building. Under this option, guests would have to be escorted and all entrances to Scott Hall would be locked at all times.

The fourth option is similar to the third, but 24-hour visitation would be allowed only on weekends, said Rowe.

If any of the options are approved by the Board of Trustees, there will be certain rules that will also go into effect, according to Rowe. Cohabitation, defined as a visit of more than three nights within a seven-day period, will not be permitted. Roommates will also negotiate binding contracts concerning visitation.

If the proposal is approved in March, said Rowe, in April when students sign up for their housing in the fall, they will be able to select a room in Scott if they want to have 24-hour visitation. “If a student does not want 24-hour visitation, they just don’t sign up for Scott,” said Rowe.

Rowe also added that sororities have the option to lock their halls in Scott if they do not wish to have 24-hour visitation.

Rowe supports the plan, saying that most of the students approve of the idea and he is determined to achieve it for them. “I represent the 6500 students here at Western and on behalf of them I think it is a great idea,” said Rowe. “I know the majority of students want to see some sort of 24-hour visitation go forth.

Last week, the Western Carolinian posted a poll on the website asking students their opinion on 24-hour visitation. 73 percent said they favored 24-hour visitation, 23 percent did not favor it, and 3 percent were undecided.