News Editor
Annalisse Galaviz

The guest policy on campus has changed from last year due to COVID-19 restrictions. According to Whittier College’s website, the College is only open to approved staff and residential students; “therefore, no other individuals will be permitted to visit campus without proper authorization from College Officials.” This may be clear from the signs posted on campus, indicating that it is closed to the public. 

The small amount of residential students currently dorming on campus are not allowed to invite guests to their dorms or on campus. These guests include current students and non-students alike. The term “guest,” as used by this policy, matches the meaning from the Student Code of Conduct: “Person(s) to whom a student is extending or has extended hospitality or invitation to come onto the College Premises.”

Photo courtesy of Emerson Little/ Quaker Campus

Should an approved residential student be found permitting guests on campus, they will be charged with “the appropriate alleged guest violation which may include a policy violation of College Rules and Regulations.”

Director of Housing and Residential Life Lafayette Baker explained how a student may be charged if they should violate guest protocol: “The Student(s) would go through the student conduct process. Sara Espinoza, Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Rights and Responsibilities, oversees the student conduct process.”

In addition to Espinoza’s oversight, enforcing the guest protocol is a collaborative effort with the student body, Campus Safety, Residential Life, Dean of Students, and Office of Rights and Responsibilities, according to Director Baker. “We encourage an environment of collaboration and personal responsibility,” said Baker.

Dean of Students and Title IX Coordinator Bruce Smith expressed a similar view of enforcing guest protocol. “Enforcing the rules, we count on hearing about violations from a number of entities: students, faculty, staff,” said Smith. “It’s not like we have people wandering campus looking for violations. I think that’s an important thing to remember.” 

Campus Safety officers are also still patrolling campus with the same number of officers as last year, despite a decrease in student residents. 

When asked what Campus Safety’s response is supposed to be if they see a guest on campus, Smith explained that there are factors that complicate this scenario. For example, Campus Safety officers are not expected to recognize everyone that is approved to be on campus. However, as enforcing this protocol is a collaborative effort, Campus Safety officers and anyone approved to be on campus can ask for ID verification from a guest, as is required for students, staff, and faculty.

Photo courtesy of Emerson Little / Quaker Campus

Should a Campus Safety officer see a person they do not recognize, or if they think that person is not supposed to be on campus, they can ask to see their student or institutional ID. According to Smith, “If we think that a person is a guest of a student — and that would take a lot of questioning — then that Campus Safety officer would certainly alert our Assistant Dean [Espinosa] and Residential Life. Campus Safety does have the ability to ask a person to leave campus. I don’t think they would do that because they are not trying to start fights. They’d probably let the person know they’re not allowed to be on campus and ask them to leave.”

Should a student visit the campus as an unapproved guest, that student would be in violation of College policy and would, as a result, be punished. “There certainly would be some follow-up that would include meeting with a conduct professional,” said Smith.

The COVID-19 Student Code of Conduct is available online and through reminders in emailed Poet Updates. Baker reminds students that, “All approved residential students took a required Poet Pledge and COVID-19 Student Code of Conduct Educational Quiz to know all of the rules for health and safety regarding COVID-19.” 

While less people are on campus, it remains important for students to abide by guest policies at the risk of putting other students in danger. As Baker states, for the College’s COVID-19 guest policy to be successful, student cooperation is key.

“[I]n a situation like this, we all need to work together to ensure that we are being responsible community members. As stated in the COVID-19 Student Code of Conduct, ‘We must all agree on a shared set of principles and daily actions that reflect guidelines from public health experts and agencies. These shared principles and actions will allow us to create a healthy, safe environment wherever we are living, learning, and working.’”

Featured image: Photo courtesy of Emerson Little/ Quaker Campus

Author

  • Annalisse Galaviz is the News Editor for the Quaker Campus. She has worked for the paper since 2018 in former roles as a copy editor and news assistant. She likes writing about hard-hitting current events and, naturally, spends most of her time on political Twitter so she can do this. Assuming she has free time, she enjoys writing bad poems and fiction stories.

Annalisse Galaviz is the News Editor for the Quaker Campus. She has worked for the paper since 2018 in former roles as a copy editor and news assistant. She likes writing about hard-hitting current events and, naturally, spends most of her time on political Twitter so she can do this. Assuming she has free time, she enjoys writing bad poems and fiction stories.

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