Fordham’s Futile Battle Against Pre-Marital Sex


Published: September 27, 2007

Almost every FCLC student living on campus has, at some point, required an overnight guest pass. Reasons for guest passes vary from student to student. Many students require guest passes for friends and siblings who need a place to stay for the night. Other guest passes are undoubtedly used by couples who wish to spend the night together. Whatever the motivation behind obtaining a guest pass might be, it is undeniable that Fordham University’s guest pass policy is outdated and distrustful of its students.

A Fordham student waits outside of the RA’s office to get an overnight pass. Photo illustration by (Alex Palomino/ The Observer)

Fordham’s standing guest policy states that residents are prohibited from signing in overnight guests of the opposite sex. Clearly, this policy stems from the university’s Catholic values, which frown upon premarital sex. It would, then, seem that Fordham’s guest policy in no way takes into account platonic relationships between men and women. Fordham makes the assumption that any student requesting an overnight pass for a person of the opposite sex intends to engage in some type of sexual intercourse. This is not only a ridiculous conclusion; it is insulting to the student body as well. Through this guest policy, it would seem that Fordham is implying the majority of its residents are incapable of controlling their hormones. And let’s not forget the inconvenience Fordham’s current guest policy places on students in long-distance relationships. Students who wish to visit their significant others undoubtedly find themselves having to pay for a hotel room.

Fordham’s guest policy takes a standoffish approach to dealing with its residents. By implementing the policy in question, the administration is, in effect, stating that it can see no reason why two students of the opposite sex would want to spend the night together, other than to engage in sexual intercourse. This type of logic is narrow-minded and falls short of progressive thinking. For those reasons alone, it is saddening that a university located in the heart of the world’s most progressive metropolis would have such an archaic and ineffective policy in place.

Even more troubling is the reality that the current guest policy forces Fordham male residents to circumvent the rules and find female friends willing to sign in same-sex guests, and vice versa. What about our gay and lesbian friends? It seems that this policy completely disregards the fact that these students may be engaging in sexual intercourse and creates an unfair situation because homosexual residents are able to host their significant others with ease. The current overnight guest pass policy leaves heterosexual residents with no other recourse than to break rules and become subversive themselves.

Fordham, once again, has chosen to dance around an issue which requires intelligent and compassionate thought and instead opted for an inflexible policy which in no way addresses the issue of premarital sex, which was perhaps the concern the policy was enacted to address.

Fordham students are going to engage in sexual intercourse regardless of the university’s opinions. It seems childish that the administration would attempt to prevent such acts by enacting superficial policies which in no way address the university’s concerns on premarital sex. What, then, can Fordham do to address such concerns? For one, Fordham can spend some time and money on educational programs which inform its students on the dangers of casual sex. This would be a much more effective means of protecting Fordham students than enforcing the current ineffective policy and it would serve Fordham better in its fight against premarital sexual relations.

Fordham’s guest policy is completely useless and ineffective at preventing students from engaging in premarital sex. The policy stigmatizes Fordham students as sex-crazed adolescents and is deeply insulting to the student body. The reality of the situation is that Fordham students continue to engage in sexual intercourse despite the policy in question. It is clear that the current guest policy fails to prevent premarital sex and in no way addresses the homosexual community at all. This does not mean that Fordham should abandon its crusade against premarital sex; rather Fordham should implement effective programs to educate its students in safe sexual interactions.