COLUMN: Students in residence halls pay more for fewer privileges
The new policy requiring overnight guests to have written approval from a residence hall director is Residence Life’s latest attempt to act as a parent to students.
Residence Life officials said overnight guests will not be allowed to stay in residence halls until Friday and weekday guests will now need written approval 48 hours before their guest arrives.
Rather than accompanying students on their adjustment from high school to college, these strict guidelines are prohibiting them from experiencing the most basic transition of all — socializing with new people.
Associate Director of Residence Life Joan Schmidt cited the large population of freshmen last year and the amount of guests who visited them as one of the reasons for the implementation of the new rules.
Schmidt also said the Welcome Week policy of not allowing guests was created to encourage students to bond with new roommates rather than spend time with friends from home.
Last year there were 175 rooms housing five students, meanwhile this year no rooms have those issues. Residence Life is punishing this year’s students from internal faults last year.
Most other universities start classes later, so making the trip to CMU for Welcome Weekend is clearly a top choice when these people are forming weekend plans, therefore adding to the amount of residence hall visitors in recent years.
Students are not the determiners for when classes begin. That is administration’s job — so why are students being punished?
Freshmen students are required to live in residence halls unless their home is within 60 miles of campus. Students upset with these new rules are forced to abide by them because of the 60-mile rule.
With the 2011-2012 standard room and board with the lowest meal plan running at $6,688 per year, that’s more than $600 per month for a typical student staying 10 months. When compared to other apartments this price is ridiculous.
Students not only have the right to determine which friends they will spend time with (whether they are CMU students or friends from home), but they can decide when and where to see them.
Officials said this ban includes students who attend CMU living in another residence hall, and also those students who live off campus. How is this encouraging those living in residence halls to befriend other CMU students when the ban directly prohibits such from happening?
While fostering healthy relationships between roommates is an admirable goal, paying customers should be able to decide who they want to spend their time with.
Residence Life has become the policy creator, with residence hall directors acting as parents, and resident assistants working as babysitters. This is hardly the college experience and freedom high school seniors picture for their first year of college.
Rather than respecting residents as adults who need guidance and support in transitioning into the college lifestyle, Residence Life has increasingly decided that freshmen need to have most decisions made for them.
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