By Reggie Ogbonna, Campus Staff Writer
Posted 9:55 PM EST, Thurs., Sept. 29, 2016
In partnership with the Office of Residence Life and the Howard University Student Association 56th Administration, Howard has so far allowed visitation for all students as the first month of classes came to an end.
According to Residence Life, the updated visitation procedure, part of the Executive Visitation Policy, increases students’ “understanding of responsibility and give them an opportunity to study, socialize, and interact with their classmates, guests, and peers without the constraints of limited visitation.”
The memorandum provided by the Office of Residence Life states that all freshmen residents residing in halls has the following visitation hours: 12 noon-12 midnight, Sunday through Thursday and 12 noon-2:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday. All upperclassmen residing in residence halls will have 24-hour visitation privileges, but visitation is not guaranteed as the privilege can be modified if there are any violations.
“Visitation was a figment of our imagination around this time last year,” said sophomore justice administration major Darian Fountain of last year’s especially stern housing restrictions. “We didn’t receive visitation until the middle of October . . . ‘strict’ wouldn’t even begin to explain how our visitation was.”
Visitation regulations are not an HBCU specific phenomenon, however, strict policies have been most prevalent on Black campuses that were initially ‘finishing schools’ — or institutions that focus on cultivating life skills, like Howard was.
Despite this year’s policy change, many freshmen are still unhappy with the remaining restriction.
“It doesn’t make sense as to why we don’t have visitation like the rest of the university,” said freshman journalism major Austin Shorter. “Everyone here including the administration is always saying how we’re all adults now, but they still restrict where we can and can’t go, and at what time.”
The administration is very pleased with the new outcomes of this year’s new policy.
Wilson Bland, dean of the Office of Residence Life said, “[The system] has worked very well so far. The number of visitation violations and infractions [have reduced] since last year.” [pdf-embedder url=”http://thehilltoponline.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/img107.pdf” title=”Visitation Memorandum”]