With the start of a new semester, the Office of Residence Life is welcoming a season of change in many areas on campus to reflect the University’s goal to improve on-campus students’ living experience. This is includes the revision of ResLife staff terminology, rules regarding pets and visitation.
The change in terminology maintains the position of resident director. The changes pertained to the previously held titles of resident assistant and assistant director to resident community leader and senior community leader, respectively.
“This is a change that reflects the shift in ResLife toward community and, as a result, wanting to be more clear about the objective of our student staff members living on the halls,” said Jessica Nguyen, director of second-year residential experience.
Another significant change made in regard to the residential experience is the expansion of visitation for students.
In the past, visitation was on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-11 p.m., with Tuesday reserved for men’s halls and Thursday for women’s halls. Under the new protocol, rather than designating visitation days by grouping the halls based on gender, the new “open house” schedule will assign each residence hall a day of the week Monday-Thursday to have visitation hours between 6 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
In addition to the weeknight schedule, freshman residence halls will have another open house on Saturday nights 4 pm to midnight.
Sophomore residence halls have a perk of seniority, with two additional open house slots in addition to their hall’s assigned weekday on both Fridays and Saturdays from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Nguyen said the decision to change visitation hours came from the desire to allow more opportunities for students to build their community on campus and with each other.
“Students will have a place that they can go and study, hang out, and develop friendships all throughout the week,” Nguyen said. “We are so glad to be able to offer that opportunity.”
The rules and regulations regarding visitation etiquette will still apply to all hours of visitation, but the residence halls will be employing a new procedure for checking in co-ed visitors. In the past, students would check into the dorm for visitation by leaving their contact information and student ID card or license with the desk manager. Now, students will sign in to a guest book, designating the room number they are visiting and their information.
ResLife staff will be required to crack down on penalties that steep into three digit fines per person for violations, according to Annelise Hernandez, the resident director of Dillard Hall.
Andrea Morlett, a sophomore psychology major from Coppell and RCL in Sikes Hall, praised the revision to visitation and said the new structure will allow for a more relational college experience for students.
“Having the option to have a safe place for them to interact and partake in relationship building will promote more effectively the healthy community that ACU strives for,” Morlett said.
Another expansion in the rules made was in regard to the pet policy, which now allows fish in a five-gallon-maximum tank.
Students can now enjoy fishy companions in their dorm rooms, although fish will be the extent of animals allowed in residence halls. Nguyen assured that there is no intention of further changing the pet policy because of the potential disruptions of noise and allergens that other animals could bring.