Visitation policy lacks compassion for overnight visitors

The Residence Life visitation policy is far from perfect and, while achieving such a status is practically impossible, particular aspects are certainly more one-sided than others. We have already touched upon the daytime visitors’ policy this year; now for a focus on the overnight guest policy.

As it stands, students are allocated three nights a month for the visitation of overnight guests. This is a well-known aspect of the policy among resident students. What many do not know is that guests are not allowed to stay on campus more than three nights in a 30-day period. That is because this tidbit of information is buried under “Additional Information Regarding Visitation” in the Residence Life Handbook.

This rule comes alongside a number of other strict visitation regulations. Most schools only allow up to three consecutive nights for overnight guests.

“I was visiting a friend here on spring break and I didn’t have a lot of money so I decided to stay at the dorms,” said Anthony Perez, a freshman at Colorado State University √¢?” Pueblo.

Perez was visiting a friend here at St. John’s not only to spend his break in New York City, but to experience what it was like going to school at St. John’s as well.

“I was seriously considering transferring here,” Perez said.

Perez’s host was unaware of the rule disallowing him to stay on campus for more than three nights in a 30-day period. When asked, one resident assistant was not even entirely clear on the three night rule. He assumed, with some uncertainty, that the guest could be signed in by other hosts to extend his visit.

The most logical solution to this problem would be to take a page from Howard University, which has an extended overnight policy so that residence directors have to approve of visitors a week ahead of their arrival.

“It messed up a lot of my plans, and while I respect school policies I expected and would have appreciated a little more compassion,” Perez said.