Studying at night: 24-hour visitation popular in pilot halls

Meghann Rise

Meghann Rise

Residents of Young and Binnewies halls are the subjects of a pilot test determining if the new 24-hour visitation policy will work across campus.

Last spring, the board of Community Assistants, CAB and the Residence Hall Association made recommendations to change the visitation hours in the residence halls to 24 hours. The only residence hall before this year to allow 24-hour visitation was Caldwell.

“We had had a good experience with it in Caldwell, said Doug Wermedal, assistant vice president for student affairs. “We wanted to test it in a different setting,” said

After its proposal in the spring, the idea was discussed during orientation this past June. Some parents voiced concern with students being able to visit the opposite sex at any time of day. Overall, though, the idea went over quite well.

Even if the pilot does work in Young and Binnewies, there will always be residence halls that still have visitation policies in place.

“I’m not seeing a future where we change everything everywhere,” Wermedal said. “There will always be an option for students to live in a dorm where there are visitation rules. We need to do a review, and it needs to be positive, and then the proposal will need to go to university leadership.”

Community Assistants have also been regulating the amount of time the opposite sex spends on the floor. Once toothbrushes and a change of clothes start to show up in rooms, CAs have been asked to step in.

“I think it’s a great policy,” said sophomore Spanish major Angela McCoy, a resident of Binnewies Hall. “We are all adults now, and we should be able to decide when we want someone to leave our room.”

When SDSU first opened its doors, male and female students were not even allowed on the same floor at any point in time. By 1998, one residence hall, Wecota, allowed 24-hour visitation, Wermedal said. Because the hall was at one time intended for only juniors and seniors, it was the only hall on campus that allowed 24-hour visitation.

“Eventually enrollment grew, and the space was needed for freshmen and sophomores,” Wermedal said.

Most campuses across the nation have allowed 24-hour visitation since the ’80s, Wermedal said.

The new hours are not only for the convenience of students’ social lives, it will also allow students to study late, as most tend to do.

“A key driving factor in our decision is students interacting with each other at abnormal hours,” Wermedal said. “Sometimes students sit down and study at midnight. It’s hard to find time to get everyone together, so to honor students’ academics, we allow them extended visitation.”

Freshman pre-veterinarian major Samantha Jung said, “I love the new policy, because anyone can come whenever they want. It gives us more freedom to do what we want.”

To better tend to the social and academic needs of students, the new visitation hours are an improvement. Most students and parents agree that this is an essential update to the campus. So far, the pilot has had great success.

“My assessment of the pilot is simple,” Wermedal said. “So far, so good.”