By Jessica McKenzie & RJ Giannachi, Asst. Features Editor & Contributor
Residence Life has adjusted some regulations to the access control policy for spring semester. An email was sent to all Manhattan College students on Jan. 13 describing the revisions to the policy, effective immediately.
In addition to students now being able to host day guests between 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, they are also allowed to host three day guests instead of two.
Overnight guests are no longer required to carry paper passes with them at all times during their time on campus. MC students are still required to submit overnight guest requests on the MyHousing Portal within 24 hours of the guest’s stay. A list of approved guests is provided to Public Safety and the Residence Life staff.
Despite the adjustments to access control, some students still feel that portions of the policy need to be modified.
“[Residence Life] should let people who live in the other buildings spend the night in other buildings without the hassle. They should still need to sign in, but they shouldn’t need [24 hour] prior notice. They still pay to go here,” said Tucker Pellegrino, a sophomore political science major.
Over the past semester, the board of student government held multiple meetings with the Residence Life administration. The student government presented feedback from the student body, constructing open discussions about how access control could be made more accepted on campus.
“When access control was first implemented [fall 2019], there was a lot of push back from the student body … we had been working with administration to make some changes,” said Luke Malpica, senior civil engineering major and Assistant Vice President of Residential Affairs.
Malpica has been involved with Residence Life since his junior year when he worked as an RA. Over the past two years, he has witnessed Manhattan College’s access control policy change dramatically.
Until fall 2019, all students with Manhattan College Identification held access to any dorm building on campus, whether or not they lived there. Access control now only grants them entrance to the building in which they live, unless they are hosted and signed in by a resident of another building.
“I think a lot of [student complaints] were due to the initial shock of losing a certain aspect of our freedom. At the end of the day … it’s just as much of a safety concern as it is anything else,” Malpica said.
Students are no longer allowed to scan their Manhattan College app on their phones for building access. Students often violated the app by sending screenshots of the electronic ID to non-MC students, and now must carry their ID cards at all times.
“Scanning [my phone] was so easy and flexible, I didn’t need to worry about having my ID,” said senior Tuuli Menna, finance major.
While many MC students are not fully satisfied with the implements, anonymous surveys concerning student opinion on access control have been sent in a school-wide email. These surveys are typically conducted every three years.
Complaints can also be submitted through the senate’s anonymous complaint box or during assembly meetings which are held every other Wednesday.
“There have been significant changes [to access control] and I recognize that, but we are now more in line with [the access control policies] of other colleges,” said Charles Clency, who has been director of Residence Life at MC for just over a year, and has worked in Residence Life at various other colleges for 26 years.
Clency hopes that with the new policy of allowing students to host three day guests, the lives of students will be enhanced holistically.
“Conduct [violations] had dropped pretty significantly from implementing access control … [MC students] aren’t guests, this is their campus, and they are welcome in the buildings, but we also want them to conduct themselves properly because we want the buildings to be taken care of. Knowing who’s in the buildings helps us to be more safe and more secure,” Clency said.
Even though there are no planned further changes to the access control policy for this semester, students are still encouraged to voice their opinions on the subject matter.
“There is always room for improvement with any policy. If [students] are having issues with access control, please voice those issues and we’ll open the dialogue again,” said Malpica.