Student body should have options for visitation hours


Editorial Board

Issue: Binnewies and Young halls have joined Caldwell this fall as the only halls to have 24-hour visitation. All other residence halls have visitation from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. during the week and from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. on weekends.

It’s not uncommon for college students to stay up past 2 a.m. studying or hanging out with friends. It’s also not uncommon for these students to have study buddies or friends that are of the opposite sex.

That’s where 24-hour visitation comes in.

Binnewies and Young halls have been part of an experiment this fall to test 24-hour visitation. Students there are allowed to visit the dorm room of the members of the opposite sex at any hour of the day. In other residence halls – expect Caldwell which also has 24-hour visitation – students can visit the rooms of those of the opposite gender from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. during the week and from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. on weekends. In all halls, except Caldwell, the lobby doors are locked at 11 p.m. and the house doors close at midnight. In Caldwell, the house doors are never locked.

Due to popularity with students, the 24-hour visitation program should be expanded next fall. Students have already shown their approval for 24-hour visitation in halls across campus by allowing members of the opposite sex to stay past visiting hours and then sneaking them out later. Many of those who do abide by the rules would appreciate being able to finish that movie in their friend’s room that ends at 2:45 a.m. or to cram for a physiology test in the morning.

Not everyone will like 24-hour visitation, though. Some women will worry about safety since men will be allowed on the floor at all hours. Others may think their roommate will use 24-hour visitation as a license to have friends over at all hours of the night. Those that have early classes may disapprove of late-night parties that could accompany increased visitation.

Some of those concerns are problems that roommates must work through, but some of the others are valid issues. That’s why at the most, one or two residence halls should continue the current visiting hours. All others should have 24-hour visitation.

Students could select their 24-hour visitation preference – much like they do for specialized communities such as Healthy Living in Brown – when they apply for a residence hall. That way, students who have safety concerns with 24-hour visitation or those that don’t want late-night visitors can have a dorm that they are comfortable with. If students do not have interest in those dorms because of the visiting-hour restrictions, then administrators should consider giving all halls 24-hour visitation.

When it comes down to it, 24-hour visitation is about accommodating students who want the option to study and socialize later with members of the opposite gender. Late nights are a standard of college, and it’s about time that SDSU recognizes that trend through updated policies.

Stance: The university should allow 24-hour visitation in all but one or two of the residence halls. That way the late-night lifestyle of students will be better accommodated, but those uncomfortable with the practice still have options.