By, Isaiah Rosario & Karen Flores, Staff Writers
Effective Monday, Sept. 13, Manhattan College students will now be allowed to bring guests from other residential halls into their own with new specific guidelines in place.
During the day, residents are allowed to host only one visitor at a time in their room and only enrolled Manhattan College students can be signed in as “day guests.”
Current guidelines on Community Standards & Student Code of Conduct states “Any person who is not a resident of a specific Manhattan College residence hall entering with a resident host between 8:00 am and 12:00 am (this extends to 2:00 am for day guests arriving on Friday and Saturday). Residents may host guests up to three-days at a time. In Horan, Lee, Overlook guests must sign in with their host in the main lobby only. While in Jasper hosts can register guests via the housing portal and/or QR code posted in the building(s).”
Questions have arisen about this new policy, specifically if it will result in a spike of COVID-19 cases on campus.
Associate Dean of Students and Director of Resident Life, AJ Goodman, spoke to The Quadrangle in regards to COVID-19 and the updated guidelines. He said that adapting to COVID-19 and the different challenges that come with lessening transmissions has led to major impacts on every aspect of campus life, including resident life.
The current policy came into place this August as students were restricted to only their own assigned residence hall with no guests permitted last year, according to Goodman.
Residence life developed the updated guest policy to try to ease some of the restrictions placed last year.
“The main goal [in updating the Manhattan College Guest Policy] is to balance students living in community with one another and the need to protect the community from COVID, particularly as the new variants appear to be impacting younger people more.” said Goodman.
The Residence Life staff hopes to be able to find a balance between allowing students to socially interact with each other and reducing the opportunity for transmission of the virus.
Goodman states that by limiting guests to only Manhattan College students, they will be able to make sure that the guests being welcomed are either fully vaccinated or are in compliance with the testing requirements placed on exempt individuals. Resident Life staff believes this guideline will decrease the number of possible transmissions within the community.
Manhattan College students have opinions regarding the updated guest policy in the lens of rising COVID-19 cases and the different rules.
“I feel like we’re all already together and classes and such… even if you have friends in different buildings and you’re hanging out with them in different environments, you’re already with all these the same people that you’d be hanging out within the same dorm so hopefully not [see a rise in COVID cases on campus],” freshman Franki Kennedy said.
Meanwhile, for overnight guests, resident students may request one overnight guest at a time in their room. Only enrolled Manhattan College students can be signed in as “overnight guests.”
Residents may have an overnight guest for up to two consecutive nights and three consecutive days, leaving no later than noon on the day.
Kennedy feels this is a positive step towards easing restrictions on campus and returning to a sense of normalcy.
“I’m excited. I feel like it’ll be a fun environment to have your other friends that you’ve met from the other dorms be able to stay overnight and just hanging out in your room,” Kennedy said.
Sophomore Dom Campisi believes he will take advantage of the daytime guest guidelines, but likely not the overnight guest policy.
“It doesn’t make much sense…I thought at first when they said the overnight guest policy that you can have, like, people that don’t live on campus, to stay over, as I feel like what’s really the point of having someone that lives like the next like hall down to just have someone stay over for like two days,” Campisi said.
Sophomore Liam Rayder agreed with Dom’s opinion.
“Yeah, I feel like that’s kind of weird, they make all the rules like has to be the same gender, has to be these certain hours but then it’s like there’s still rules like two to two nights in a row like… what if someone needed a break from their roommate or something, I guess. Yeah, but then you only have two days,” Rayder said.
Residents may host guests for up to six months per month at three-day intervals, and no more than two guests at any given time. The resident must accompany their guest at all times on campus and is responsible for the guest’s behavior while on campus.
One key component that was emphasized in the policy is the continued rule that a host of the same gender is required when a guest of the opposite gender is visiting overnight. Opposite genders may not reside in the same room overnight.
Overnight guests are not allowed to visit during winter break, spring break, finals week, and holiday periods.
“I mean personally, I would say it is like more beneficial than harmful even if I’m not going to [participate]” Raydar said.
The resident must complete a guest request available at manhattan.edu/myhousing and get approval from Residence Life staff at least 24 hours in advance of the visit. The guest must leave a photo ID with public safety in the
residence hall each time they enter the residence hall. Once the guest is prepared to leave, their ID would be given back to the guest.
While some students are skeptical and others are eager for an extension for off-campus guests, the Residence Life staff focuses now balancing some increases in social interaction and staying conscious of COVID cases.
All of the information listed regarding these new guest policy guidelines was courtesy of the Community Standards & Student Code of Conduct.
For clarification or any further questions relating to the guest policy, students may speak with any of the Resident Life senior staff and Resident Assistants. For questions relating to COVID-19 and COVID-19 policies, students should talk to Health services or the One Manhattan Office.