COVID-19: Updated SWOSU dorm guest policies
By Rachel Masson
For The Southwestern
With the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing in America, colleges and universities, like SWOSU, have had to adjust their rules for students and staff while on campus. One way Southwestern has adjusted its rules is by implementing new guest policies in each dorm building.
Gage Dowling, the housing coordinator for Oklahoma Hall, said that some of the rules have stayed the same, such as that all guests must come through the front doors past the resident advisor’s desk and still have to be escorted at all times regardless of gender.
“Some of the new things, though, are, you know, we’re not allowing off-campus guests,” Dowling said.
This is because off-campus guests can come from anywhere, including hot-spot areas for the virus. Another new rule is that there is a limit of four people allowed in a dorm room at a time.
If a student is in a private room, three other people can be in the room at the same time. But if a student shares a room with another student, then the rules change, Dowling explained. Either both students can each have one guest with them, one student has two guests while the roommate does not have any, or one student can have three guests if the roommate is not present.
Although a student who has a roommate could potentially have up to three guests, one person will have to leave the room if the roommate comes back.
An original rule that affects the four-person limit is that if a student from one floor of a dorm building visits another student on a different floor, the visiting student is considered a guest and will be counted as one of the four people allowed in one room. A student could also visit someone on his or her floor but will still have to abide by the four-person limit rule.
Another new rule is that guests must show their dorm keys to the RA desk to prove they live on campus. This helps to prevent off-campus people from coming into the dorms and potentially spreading COVID-19. By not following these rules, students can potentially lose their visitation rights and not be allowed to have anyone in their dorm at all, including another student who lives on campus, Dowling said.
Although there are a few new rules that the RA’s must enforce, Dowling said “A big part of their job is just keeping everybody safe, and, you know, keeping a community alive, and make sure people feel comfortable and creating that environment that fosters education and not prevents it.”