WLU’s new COVID-19 visitor policy inconveniences students

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Haley Blakemore

Broken door to get into Hughes Hall represents the broken vistor policy due to COVID-19. Like the broken door, the policy is an inconvenience students.

On Aug. 24, 2021, Marcella Snyder, executive director of housing and student life, sent out an email stating the visitor policy has changed once again. This policy states that there will be no guests permitted that are not students. There will be exceptions, these were not made aware of in the email, and these exceptions will have to be explained in an email to Snyder ahead of time. This policy calls for one visitor allowed at a time. Last year’s policy required you to sign people in and it was one or two people permitted.

Snyder wrote, “No guest visitation is permitted from any person(s) who are not enrolled at West Liberty University. Any visitors in the residence halls must be enrolled students. If you need to request an exception, please contact me at any time.” Personally, I believe that this new policy is counterproductive and unfair because it is limiting and inconvenient.

As far as how many visitors, last year’s policy seems more fair than this years. I don’t see why you have to explain why a parent is visiting. Explaining these exceptions for parents seems unproductive. A one person policy means seeing parents less, if you usually see your parents together. Plus, this means more money spent on gas on the parent’s end.

Kailey Carpino said, “I’m a commuter, so this doesn’t really apply to me, but I think that you should be allowed to have at least two visitors at once. If I lived in a dorm, both of my parents would want to visit me at the same time, and it would just be inconvenient for them to make separate visits.”

I’m guessing that this policy will probably go ignored more so than the last. If students couldn’t have enough time or energy to sign in visitors with the last policy, what makes a long emailing any more appealing? Many times someone will go unreported because they match the profile of a college student.

Faith Hayes said, “Those are some good points about parents. I’d like to say that if someone had a visitor close to their age, no one would know that the guest did not go here, and the student is unlikely to follow any visitor system put in play.”

I would like to suggest a solution. What if we just had a Google doc to sign people in instead? It would be faster and more guests would go on record. All we would have to do is share the document through email to everyone on campus. It will stay in everyone’s college docs, so it will be available until their email no longer exists. There can be a section where students put a reason for exceptions ahead of time and a section for Snyder to approve or disapprove visitors, however, some people think emailing or a Google doc is equally as appealing.

Caitlin Reynolds said, “I would love a Google doc that would be easier too for us students. I just wish they will allow parents to help their child move in stuff because I live on the 4th floor and carrying groceries is a chore so allowing them to help us would be great.”

Carpino agrees, “I think that a Google doc would make it easier and faster for visitors to sign in.”

I’ll leave you with a gentle reminder: If you are caught with a guest, most likely because of a noise complaint, this is a violation and it will be on record. If you have any questions about the policy, email Snyder at [email protected]