Guest Pass Policy to Change in Fall 2012


Beginning in the fall 2012 semester, commuters at Fordham will no longer have to request a guest pass 24-hours in advance. According to Alexa Rodriguez, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’13, United Student Government (USG) had this change on their agenda for the past two years.

Since fall 2011, resident students at FCLC have been required to request a pass from the Office of Residential Life (ResLife) 24-hours in advance. Rodriguez, vice president for operations for USG, said that many commuters found the policy to be inconvenient. The new policy will allow residents to obtain a pass for commuter students on the day they will stay over, but the policy will remain the same for outside visitors.

During a town hall meeting last November, Jenifer Campbell, director of ResLife, said that her job was to maintain the safety of McMahon Hall, and the passes were implemented for Fordham to protect the students. However, during the meeting, many FCLC students felt that commuters should still have leeway in this policy.

Resident student Alejandra Alcala, FCLC ’13, said, “I had many visitors like my sister visit me during my freshman year, and it was always accessible to get a pass…but now with this 24-hour in advance policy, it has not been so simple.”

Alcala said, “I understand that for safety reasons they want to keep a record of who comes in and out of the building or are staying the night, but as long as their names are taken down before they enter the building, it shouldn’t matter how many previous hours it has been done.”

Rodriguez said that the guest passes will be available during the normal ResLife office hours, which are from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. She said that as of the fall 2012 semester, only nine guest passes will be available for commuters per day. Rodriguez said that this is ResLife’s way of testing this new policy.

“Hopefully this can expand in the spring 2013 semester to the point where there is no limit on the number of same day commuter guest passes that can be requested,” Rodriguez said.

In addition, she said that the change was made possible by USG’s coordination with RHA and CSA at both FCLC and Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH). A formal proposal to change the policy was sent to Vice President for Student Affairs Jeffrey Gray and the Division of Student Affairs in February after USG held multiple meetings with Campbell since last semester.

As for guests of a different sex, the overnight guest passes will remain subject to the same ResLife policies. “The change is that now there will be a limited number of passes available to commuters on the same day,” Rodriguez said.

Many commuters and residents at FCLC said that they look forward to the guest policy change.

Janely Fernandez, a commuter and FCLC ’15, said, “Changing the guest policy is a good thing because there have been instances when I wanted to stay late here at school with my friends and I couldn’t because of the 24 hour policy. Now, I can stay when I need to and I don’t have to worry about my two-hour commute.”

Commuters from FCRH also agree. Mat Benicasa, FCRH ’14, said “I take classes here and it’s reassuring to know that I can spend the night the day that I went to and not have to worry about a policy getting in the way of my plans.”

Cinthya Pererira, a resident and FCLC ’15, said, “The change is amazing because there have been a lot of times when I wanted my commuter friends to stay over but I could not because of the policy. I think seeing more commuters in the residency hall bridge the gap between commuters and residents.”