The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer


ResLife’s Overnight Guest Policy Is Outdated

With the Rose Hill campus’ impending changes to the rules for on-campus overnight guests, Lincoln Center should be included in the conversation
ResLife’s policy which prohibits residents from signing in overnight guests of the opposite gender is outdated and illogical.

I’ve often heard people say Fordham’s overnight guest policy inadvertently favors same-sex couples — It’s obvious that they are poking fun at an old-fashioned rule. The policy remains controversial among Fordham students. Should residents have a right to sign-in guests as they please?

Currently the Office of Residential Life (ResLife) at Fordham requires residents to sign out guests of the opposite sex before 3:30 a.m., or else they risk incurring a $15 fine after an initial warning. The fine then increases by $15 with each subsequent violation during the semester. Guests of the opposite sex can only be signed back into the residence hall at 6:00 a.m. However, if a guest is the same sex as a resident, that student can get a guest pass from res life, allowing them to stay overnight at no cost.

On-campus residents should be allowed to use their dorms however they please. Otherwise, it violates a basic safety precaution — some residents might risk their safety by having late-night rendezvouses off-campus, and especially in New York City, that can be dangerous. As long as the rooms or the apartments aren’t being physically damaged, there is no reason why a student shouldn’t be allowed to sign in a person of the opposite sex for the night. 

I can see how the policy protects residents who might be unwary of someone of the opposite sex occupying their space at night, particularly if they aren’t comfortable saying no to their roommate. Regardless, there are simply too many loopholes for that worry to warrant a proactive response from the university. Not only are the dorms at Fordham co-ed, it is also fairly easy to ask a resident of the opposite gender to sign in an individual who lives off-campus for you. In addition to this, the policy itself assumes a gender binary norm; it implies that only heterosexual students are having sex.

The ResLife manual does not explicitly defend the policy — however, the economic incentive is shrouded by “Jesuit values.” Fordham accumulates fines every year, therefore it wouldn’t make sense for the university to suddenly revoke the law when it inherently benefits from it.

As long as the rooms or the apartments aren’t being physically damaged, there is no reason why a student shouldn’t be allowed to sign in a person of the opposite sex for the night.

Evan Cramb, Fordham College at Rose Hill ’18, wrote in 2016 for the Fordham Alternative: “These policies are listed under the disturbing title of ‘Moral Growth and Responsibility’ in the Residential Life Handbook, a title which unfoundedly paints all sexual activity as immoral, immature and irresponsible. These

policies have fostered a stigma surrounding sex and sexual health on campus.” 

Gender should not constitute a requirement for a guest policy. During one of my floor meetings in the  Fall 2023 semester, a student asked our Resident Assistant (RA) about the protocol for signing in a non-binary guest overnight. The RA did not have a clear answer, and I have since heard that each request would be on a case-by-case basis with ResLife. I can only imagine how awkward that conversation would be. Having to present a “case” to allow someone gender-fluid to spend the night in a co-ed dorm is wildly illogical. 

According to The Fordham Ram, there is currently discourse in place in concerns to revoking the policy. In fact, following winter break, students at the Rose Hill campus were anticipating changes to the rule — starting Jan. 19, they could sign in overnight guests of the opposite gender. However, ResLife later announced that it was keeping its policy in place for an undetermined period.

ResLife at Rose Hill appears to still be debating changes to the policy. An email sent to Rose Hill residents from ResLife on Jan. 24, announced that there would be anticipated changes in Fordham’s overnight guest policy. At the moment, these changes appear to be restricted to Rose Hill, and it would only be fair for a shift in the rule to be implemented at Lincoln Center, too.

I believe that the guest policy is outdated because I am an adult, I pay rent for an on-campus apartment and I’m old enough to make my own decisions. Who I choose to sign in to my dorm is the university’s business. As long as students respect their roommates and their spaces, there is no reason a same-sex guest policy should be enforced.

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About the Contributors
AVERY GRAFELD, Assistant Opinions Editor
Avery Grafeld (she/her), FCLC ’25, is an assistant opinions editor at The Observer. She is a journalism major with a Spanish minor. Raised in San Francisco, Avery loves exploring the California mountains, but at Fordham, the skyscrapers are a happy substitute. In her free time, she can be found petting dogs in Central Park or binge-watching “30 Rock.”
TARA LENTELL, Creative Director
Tara Lentell (she/her), FCLC ’25, is the creative director for The Observer. She is originally from Kansas City and is majoring in international political economy on the pre-law track. When not making graphics or working on The Observer, she can be found watching television, reading a book or exploring a new museum in New York City.

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