Anyone who goes to Fordham knows about both the 3:30 a.m. rule and the 24-hour advanced notice guest pass policy, as well as how inconvenient, hypocritical and arbitrary such restrictions are.
This is not to say I blatantly disagree with the safety precautions upheld by the hired personnel that monitor the front desk in each building throughout the night. The procedure of having sign-in sheets for visitors is crucial to keeping tabs on the influx of people entering and exiting the residence halls. However, university administration must consider altering the policies regarding how long guests can stay and the advanced notice for overnight guests.
The 3:30 a.m. rule is plagued with hypocrisy. The time is rather illogical and, frankly, dangerous. Fordham takes the necessary steps to ensure the utmost safety of all students with guards strategically placed at every campus gate.
Administrators drill (718) 817-2222 into your head as soon as you say goodbye to your parents and encourage you to call any time you feel unsafe. Yet they totally disregard this concept of “safety” by sending individuals, whether Fordham students or not, outside of the gates at a highly vulnerable time of the early morning.
The university must also factor in some degree of spontaneity when making such rules. The tagline “New York is my campus, Fordham is my school” proudly hangs over the McGinley Center and serves as a constant reminder for students to take advantage of their surrounding environment. New York City has something to offer at all times of the day and night, so it is not news that students will be out late.
Often, friends of Fordham residents who attend various city schools, such as NYU, Columbia and Pace, make the trek to our home borough. After a night out in the Bronx, it would certainly be easier and safer for that individual who does not attend school at Fordham to stay overnight on campus as opposed to taking the subway back to Manhattan, perhaps alone, at such a late hour.
Students cannot account for all visits. Someone who initially planned to stay until midnight might need to stay until the morning. People miss their trains. People change their minds. And not always 24 hours in advance.
Even if you take the inconvenient twenty-four-hour rule in stride, you may find yourself in your Resident Hall Office on a Thursday evening being told that they “have run out of guest passes.”
I recently had a friend who lives in Alumni Court South be told by her Resident Director when attempting to obtain a guest pass that her visitor should “start looking for other accommodations.” Fordham would rather have an 18 year old who is unfamiliar with the surrounding area stay alone in a hotel than extend the supposed “limit” and allow her to stay on campus? But this person of authority instead chose to ostracize her resident by saying that she was “careless” because she failed to come earlier in the week.
Additionally, the guest policy fails to coincide with the occupancy of the residence halls. The halls are all co-ed spaces, which allowed guests to gallivant with whomever whenever as long as they were assigned the same temporary home. Shutting out any guests of the opposite gender from visiting student of the opposite sex in from another residence hall is illogical.
Such policies also completely overlook homosexual residents. Fordham takes great pride in identifying as a Jesuit university with strong morals that promote diversity and acceptance of all different races, socioeconomic backgrounds and sexual orientations; however, this policy sends the latter progressive ideal into retrograde.
By only allowing Fordham students to sign in overnight guests of the same gender, university administration is turning a blind eye to people of the LGBT community. Heterosexual couples can get documented for something that LGBT couples cannot.
Administration would likely argue that the current policies are there to ensure the safety of all residents, but that logic clearly does not hold. If their intention is to decrease the amount of intimate relations between students, 3:30 a.m. is certainly not going to stop that from happening.
These polices only perpetuate behavior opposite of the ideal, as residents slyly break the rules right under the noses of higher authority.
Fordham’s guest policies are arbitrary and outdated. They should be revised in order to protect the safety of all students and their guests.
Bailey Hosfelt, FCRH’19, is undecided in her major from Wheeling, West Virginia.