Editorial: What needs to be considered in the visiting hours debate

Ingrid Heÿdenrÿch

Residences taking matters into their own hands when it comes to visiting hours tells a very good story about the
future about campus. It shows that students are not happy to merely accept what the university is prescribing to them, but that they want to take control of their own living spaces.

Of course, it also needs to be considered that the conversation around visiting hours in residences is a complicated one (as all conversations usually are).

There are a variety things to be considered. Is it fair to let men into residences at all times when there are women in res that have to and choose to wear certain clothes around men who are not in their direct families.

There are women that simply feel uncomfortable being around men that they do not know well. Things as simple as walking to the shower in your towel becomes a lot more complicated when men can be in the halls of a residence at all times. (The argument that women should be used to it if they live with men in their own homes is invalid, since
there is a difference between men in your direct family and men you do not know.)

It also needs to be considered that the problem of visiting hours not only has an effect on women in residences. It is completely possible for men to feel uncomfortable being surrounded by people strangers in their homes. It is obvious that this difference between different types of residences stems from rules of the past and the way society worked and the university worked way back when. (It begs the question why something is only being done about this issue now.)

Also remember that it is not necessary for current visiting hours of any residence to be used as a blueprint for the way forward. It is possible for residences to consider what the need for that specific residence is and to find a way for these needs to be met.

The question also has to be asked: Should one rule apply to all men’s and all females’s residences on campus? If so, this could mean one of three things: Women’s residences will have to slack their men’s visiting hours rules and allow for men to enter their residences more freely. Or men’s residences will have to fit into women’s residences rules, restricting the access of women into their residence.

Otherwise a middle-ground needs to be found where all parties have to compromise. As things stand now, the last option seems to be the best in order to keep the peace on campus. What the prims of the various residences have done well so far, according to my knowledge, is talking to residents in their residences and making sure that what they bring to PK-meetings reflect what their communities want.

In this aspect, it is important for the people who are not in these leadership positions to make their voices known.
If you do not agree with the direction the visiting hours are moving in, voice your opinion in house meetings and discussions. In the same vein, if you do agree with what is being suggested, make it known. It gives prims and other
stakeholders piece of mind when they have to contest for what you as resident wants in meetings they have.

On another note, PSO students must be very happy about their choice to not let the university prescribe their living situations.

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