On Jan. 8, 2017, the University of West Alabama”s Resident Housing Office posted the revised visitation policy on every door in Gilbert Hall. The Gilbert Hall guest policy has been around since 2012, but the residence hall staff has made new revisions to improve resident experience and safety.

All residents of Gilbert Hall must have a “SP17” silver sticker on their Student identification card. When entering Gilbert Hall after 7 P.M. each night, they must show their UWA student ID to a staff member.

Guests must now check-in at the front desk, wear a badge during their stay, and sign out upon departure.
Check-in stations are located on the first floor by the main entrance and elevators. Guests will receive their badge there and upon leaving Gilbert Hall, the visitor must return badge and sign out. Residents must be escort their guests at all times, and out of the building before the end of visiting hours.

Since the beginning of of the spring semester in January until Feb. 15, Gilbert has had 650 visitors sign in and out. Most of the guests are staying the full duration of the allowed time.

Visitation hours include Sunday-Thursday 10:30 a.m. until midnight and Friday-Saturday 10:30 a.m. until 2 a.m.
Students are still able to have over night guests. Residents must submit a form and have it approved 48 hours in advance.

According to the Residence Life Coordinator, Jeremy Sheffield, the punishments have changed to enforce the new rules. The adjustments to the old visitation policy were added because of the “influx in unauthorized guests, such as upperclassman, non-students and locals.”
The staff had several complaints from students and families on the previous lenient guest policy. Complaints suggested residents were “unsafe and fearful.”

The standard sanctions for any visitation violation will be as follows:
1st violation: $100 fine and educational sanction
2nd violation: $250 fine and educational sanction
3rd violation: Recommendation of removal from campus housing without refund.

The Muse staff agrees with UWA’s housing staff decision and believes that they are not attempting to limit the on-campus experience of its residents, but that the new policies are more of an attempt to allow a more enjoyable and safe atmosphere for on-campus residents.

For more information, one can contact the Residence Life Coordinator, Jeremy Sheffield, at jsheffield@uwa.edu.

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