New Guest Policy Puts Responsibility in Student Hands

Last week, the Office of Resident Life (ORL) announced a change in the overnight guest policy that the student body has continually requested. Now, opposite sex guests are allowed to be in checked in by dorm residents and stay overnight in residence halls up to four times per month (excluding Fromm Residence Hall, which is an all women facility).  The Foghorn has printed several different student editorials over the past year calling for this change, but we also recognize the controversy this change may create for students.

It is likely that there will be more roommate conflict following the implementation of this policy. Roommates are often assigned fairly randomly and there is no guarantee that roommates will get along. Privacy concerns in such small living spaces are certainly not to be taken lightly. If one roommate brings his or her opposite sex sibling, friend, or significant other to the dorm frequently, his or her roommate may be presented with a very uncomfortable living situation. To avoid unplanned guests, Residence Life is requiring that all overnight guests must be registered by 7:00 p.m. The Foghorn contends that residence hall directors and resident advisors must take complaints by roommates about privacy very seriously; if not, USF’s residence halls may become a much more hostile environment.

The Foghorn believes that this policy change suggests ORL’s desire to have a more open and trusting relationship with the student body. Almost all students living in on-campus residence halls are 18 years of age or older. They are adults and deserve to have certain freedoms. If a handful of students abuse this freedom and disrupt their roommate’s or floor-mates’ privacy or safety, then those students should have overnight guest privileges revoked. The entire residence hall population, however, should not be punished for the immaturity of their peers.

Additionally, the Foghorn believes that the new policy treats roommates of different sexual orientations more equally by allowing both male and female guests to be checked in over night. Students will no longer feel the need to manipulate the system by sneaking their overnight guests into the building or having opposite sex friends check in their guests. All of these developments are inherently positive and, with the right amount of supervision, this guest policy will benefit the student body and give students a chance to prove their maturity.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-Editor: Burke McSwain

Opinion Editor: Laura Waldron

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