Flames of The Torch

A new semester brought St. John’s students a rude alarm-clock awakening and some miserable weather. The new Residence Life visitation policies seem to juxtapose a subpar opening day.

According to a letter written by the Rev. James Maher C.M, the University vice president for student affairs, resident students are now permitted to visit other students’ dormitories as late as 2 a.m. any day during the week.

Additionally, students can now sign in two students at a time. According to Maher, the decision to make the policies a bit more lax stems from voiced concerns from Resident Assistants on campus.

The letter outlining the new policies explained that late-night study groups and socializing were the main reasons behind the change, perhaps the two most basic and obvious of a slue of possible reasons.

It should not take a few complaints from RAs to feel the need to address those kinds of problems.

Student sentiment towards the rules reform seems moderately positive but essentially mixed.

“Any step in a more lenient direction is a step in the right direction,” said senior Heather Stein, a former O’Connor Hall resident. “I think that St. John’s students will prove that they have the maturity to handle a more lenient guest policy.”

Perhaps if the administration had involved RAs, a kind of liaison between residents and administrators, in the decision-making process in 2005, student resentment would not have run as rampant.

But hey, live and learn, right?

While the change might not allow enough leniency for many students’ likings, residents have to appreciate a movement, no matter how minor, towards creating a more relaxed social setting.

The administration has given a little, and they better get it right back. That means minimizing on-campus violations. The name of the game is accountability.

In deciding safety policies, the administration has to take individual incidences and add them to form campus-wide statistics. In other words, a single violation adds to the likelihood of Residence Life reimplementing more stringent policies. The residents owe it to themselves and their neighbors to have fun responsibly. If all goes well under the new policies, the administration will certainly be more likely to further loosen the relatively tight visitation policies.

Brian Greppo, a senior resident of O’Connor Hall said, “It’s nice to be able to sign in two visitors again, but I still feel like the policy is stringent.”

While there were several minor changes made, much of the unpopular rules created in Sept. 2005 remain, including residents having to sign in from one residence hall to the next.

The administration learned from its students. Hopefully, the students will learn this time from the example made by the administration.