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Policy includes easier access to dorms, more overnight guests

By: Bill Yelenak

Posted: 10/24/02

Changes to the Boston University Guest Policy allowing easier access to dormitories for BU
ts, more overnight guests per semester and emergency passes for immediate family
members will go into effect on Jan. 13, 2003.

Instead of being allowed to sign in guests from 8 a.m. to midnight every day, all on
Boston University students will now
be allowed to swipe in to any large residence hall from 7
a.m. to 8 p.m. and be allowed to enter from 8 p.m. to midnight as long as the student declares a
reason. Students must then leave the building by 1 a.m. on weeknights or 2:30 a.m. on weekends
and si
gn themselves out before leaving.

Additionally, the hours guests can enter the large dormitories were extended for Friday and
Saturday nights. Guests will be able to be signed in from midnight to 1 a.m. on Saturday and
Sunday mornings next semester.

y extensions, of which there were 60,000 during the last academic year, according to the
report, will remain a part of the Guest Policy. Students can sign the extension form in the Office
of Residence Life before midnight and then be allowed to sign a gues
t in at any point during the
night. The guest must leave the residence by 8 a.m. the following day.

"Over the years, I don't think we've had over 10 violations where people are separated from their
residence hall," said Associate Dean of Students Herbert
Ross. "The community standards have
been established and we're comfortable with that."

However, students who live off
campus do not receive many of the new luxuries. The ability to
swipe into a large dormitory only is accessible to those living in Boston
University housing;
therefore, any students living off
campus will need to be signed in under the same procedure as
they have in the past.

The second recommendation calls for students to be allotted two additional overnight guest
passes per semester, brin
ging the total of overnight guests a student can have to seven per
semester. However, overnight guests are still not allowed in the first two weeks of the semester
or during the reading and exam periods.

The second recommendation also involves the inclusi
on of "emergency overnight guest passes"
for immediate family members. The report said "parents and siblings

regardless of sex" would
be able to stay in the room with the permission of all involved roommates without the 24
notice currently needed to

allow a guest to spend the night.

"We accommodate it now, but immediate family members would have the opportunity to get
emergency guest passes," Ross said. "If someone did come up, your roommates need to agree

we're not going to say that unless your
roommate blesses it."

The final recommendation, separate from the "University Perspectives" project the Union
published, involved access to study lounges where students could study 24 hours a day. The
report listed the first floor lounge at 575 Commonweal
th Ave. as a place where students could
study at any hour of any day

The committee ruled that a 24
hour study area was not immediately necessary, but wrote they
thought, "more information is required in order to provide a meaningful recommendation."

ss said he thought the committee made changes because of the work the Union did in
presenting the issue.

"The way the proposal was put together ... reached beyond emotional outburst and said 'Here's
supporting evidence,' Ross said. "That made them say it
was worthy of change."

A committee, chaired by Executive Vice President Joe Mercurio, began examining the policy
and the proposed changes during September, according to a report issued by the "Committee to
Consider Revisions of Boston University's Visitor

and Overnight Guest Policy," although Ross
said the committee was formed in April. Other members of the committee included Dean of
Students W. Norman Johnson, VP of Enrollment Ann Shea, Provost Dennis Berkey and Director
of Residence Life John Weldon, Ros
s said.

According to Ross, the committee gave recommendations to Chancellor John Silber more than
two weeks ago, and Silber then presented them to the Board of Trustees last week. Ross said he
believed the Trustees were widely accepting of the three recom
mendations, which were all

Mercurio said it was a long process, but reiterated the members of the committee felt, that in the
end, they had made the right decision.

"The committee spent a lot of time reviewing the document that was prepared by th
e student
government group and we discussed all the recommendations and suggestions and findings,"
Mercurio said. "There was a lot of dialogue regarding the merits of each one of those

However, Mercurio said the dialogue would remain open be
tween the students and
administrators, but further changes were not guaranteed.

"Just because they didn't get everything doesn't mean they wouldn't get concessions in the future,
but just because we're willing to enter into a dialogue doesn't mean we're w
illing to agree with
every issue either," he said.

© Copyright 2007 The Daily Free Press