Open-dorms is that hallowed time of the week at Union when dormitories are open to visitation from the opposite sex. Currently, the visitation hours are Friday and Saturday from 2 to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m., but for some students, these hours do not seem like enough.
“I don’t think members of the opposite sex should stay overnight, but an increase in hours during the week would help,” April Coleson, junior psychology major said.
With the ever-changing pace of college life and the demands students have, many think having a few extra hours to mingle or study in residence halls would allow a more practical balance for students.
“The hours as they are now make things complicated when we need to study and the library closes at 12:30 a.m.,” Coleson said.
In the past, many campus organizations have agreed and have made several initiatives to the administration to enhance the open-dorm experience. In 2012, the Student Government Association passed a resolution asking the administration to consider changing the open-dorm policy by adding hours from 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 2 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays.
The resolution stated that the extension of hours would not only help with group studying and projects with extended time periods of research and compilation and would also likely cause students to be more inclined to live on campus. However, the administration disagreed, stating it is hard to find a balance between the desires of the students and the ongoing concerns of parents, trustees, roommates and other constituents.
“Sure, students are unable to have members of the opposite sex over outside of the weekend hours,” Ken Litscher, director of residence life said. “But it also grants freedom to the other roommates to not have to worry about if and when a member of the opposite sex is going to be over.”
Because of Union’s apartment style, residence life facilities are designed with student privacy and comfort in mind. The current policy provides consideration of all roommates.
“There is certainly a lot more privacy in our style of residence hall than in a traditional residence hall where people have to walk by others’ open doors to get to their room,” Litscher said. “Additionally, you have bathrooms in the apartment which can cause some unease or awkwardness when members of the opposite sex are over.”
While open visitation hours have not been increased, the university has managed to add multiple venues for group gatherings, such as the Honors Lounge, Barefoots Joe, the Bowld Commons and the much-anticipated spaces allotted in the new library.