The Fine Print: Housing Terms & Conditions (Visitation/Overnight Guests)
by Nathan J. Lichtenstein | published Nov. 7th, 2014
It's likely that you'll be sexiled from your room at some point during your college career. Instead of a sock on the doorknob, RIT requires a process that entails less hosiery and more paperwork.
Though the term sexile isn't used in official documentation, the RIT Office of Housing Operations does deal with the delicate topic of overnight guests in shared RIT housing. Section 11.02 of the RIT Housing Terms and Conditions for the 2014/2015 academic year discusses visitation and overnight guests. The policy begins with a simple but important sentence: "Residents have guest privileges." A shared room is as much yours as it is your roommate's; this mentality is important to many aspects of shared living, especially when considering overnight guests.
RIT outlines that the rules pertaining to guests apply equally to guests of the same and opposite sexes. Additionally, it is clarified that "Visitation by opposite sex guests on single-sex floors and rooms, apartments or suites is allowed." It also states that a guest may not move his or her belongings into RIT housing, and the guest's visit must be approved by all roommates.
The rest of the policy goes on to list several starchy and seemingly unenforceable rules. They go from the mundane "Guest must abide by all RIT's terms and conditions," to the unreasonable "An overnight guest must be registered by the hosting resident in advance of his/her arrival with the Center for Residence Life using a guest registration form," which must be completed 48 hours prior to the visitor's arrival.
While I understand the legal precedent for having these measures in place, I don't think they should be included in an official policy if they're not enforced with consistency by the Office of Housing Operations. Now please, don't take this message the wrong way, because I do think that having a guest housing policy in place is important; however, I think we should try to be more realistic with our expectations and enforce them consistently. Inconsistent policy enforcement can lead to a feeling of injustice among students, which creates an unpleasant community environment.
Inconsistent enforcement is not isolated to this clause of the housing contract. For example, take the safety concerns for pedestrians in relation to bicycles on campus,
Instead of directly addressing these issues and having safety officers patrolling the campus, RIT has resigned itself to depending on a laissez-faire approach.
At the end of the day, I think our campus's administration needs to take a hard look at certain policies in terms of enforcement and necessity. I strongly believe that poorly enforced policies, like the housing guest clause, are worse than having no policy in place at all. Rules are meant to be consistent and meaningful, not spotty and used only when it is convenient. The only way to change the community we are a part of is to read the fine print, understand the rules and make yourself heard. The ball is in your court, RIT; make a difference.