New guest policy should be amended

On Nov. 5, students received an email from USC Housing detailing a new guest policy for on-campus residential buildings.

“Guests will still be allowed to visit [residents in their buildings],” read the email. “However, they will have to be signed in by a resident of the building and leave a valid ID in exchange for a temporary guest pass.”

Though this new policy aims to improve the security of buildings on campus, it is an inefficient and redundant system, and has raised considerable concern among students who live on campus. USC Housing should take these concerns seriously and reform the policy to not include students already entered in housing contracts with the university.

It is reasonable to require guests who are not affiliated with the university to register when staying overnight in a residence hall. This provides an incentive for off-campus, non-USC guests, who did not sign a housing contract, to adhere to USC Housing policy.

Keenan Cheung, director of USC Housing, explained in an email to the Daily Trojan, however, that a guest of a building is any person — university-affiliated or not — who is not a contracted resident of that particular building. These guests must sign in and exchange an ID for a guest pass, a change that differs from the current policy that only requires registration for overnight guests.

Extending the requirement of registration to include people affiliated with the university is unnecessary. The majority of visitors to on-campus residence buildings are USC students who have already signed a contract agreeing to abide by the rules dictated by USC Housing and the USC Student Code of Conduct.

As many students living on and off campus frequent other dormitories, the process of registering each one of these students and exchanging their IDs for guest passes will inevitably cause heavy congestion in building lobbies. Such congestion removes the ability of students to enter and leave dorms quickly to borrow a book or clothes from a friend, for example. It also makes group study ventures much more difficult. Requiring all members of a study group — who might be coming from different dorms — to spend several minutes registering as an outsider discourages students from using the study rooms in residence buildings.

In addition, requiring campus residents to register in other dorms seems unnecessary when the university is already stationing new security personnel at the entrances of on-campus residences to check IDs. If the policy aims to protect students against supposed invaders, requiring the registration of students serves no purpose.

USC Housing should amend the new guest policy requirement to address only guests who are not university-affiliated. The new 24-hour security staff can easily check IDs as a means of distinguishing between USC students and off-campus guests.

Not only would reforming the policy satisfy students, allowing for ease when having visitors, it would still meet the university’s need for greater security on campus. And it would be an admirable effort on USC Housing’s part to show that they are not only willing to work on and improve the campus’ residential housing experience, but to also listen and take into account student concerns.


Matt Tinoco is a freshman majoring in international relations.

14 replies
  1. Dan
    Dan says:

    North University Park and Twan should form their own club founded on irrelevance to article content and exaggeration.

  2. North University Park
    North University Park says:

    U S C is building new student housing under its ” U S C Specific Plan ” in the hope and expectation that students will prefer university provided housing with its rules and regulations over privately owned housing in the community.

    Unless such housing is substantially subsidized I doubt that it will be successful

    More likely, when the free market fails, freshman students will be forced to accept such housing, as has happened in other similar universities.

    • George
      George says:

      Given that the rents of the non-USC owned properties are pretty pricey anyway if you want to live anywhere near campus, I don’t see this new plan as a bad thing, especially if leases from these new properties are like those of other USC-managed properties: namely, not over the whole year, but rather during the semester.

    • George
      George says:

      Man, you just don’t give up, do you? I wonder what it’s like to have a dialogue with myself, yet still post it for all to see.

    • Ras
      Ras says:

      It does not matter if you are trolling for attention or really believe what you write — there is a reason you and I walk on the other side of the street when hooded black men are walking hard with hoodies late at night. I also love when young black men deliberately try and look hard at people so when whitey reacts by crossing the street – then the young blacks can have a war story to tell the world how racist a society we live in.

      • Twan
        Twan says:

        Listen to you people:
        1) I don’t have a legitimate point about how young black men are treated?
        2) I could only be a “white guy” messing with everyone?
        3) You call me “Twat”?
        4) You refer to the actions of black men as “hard with hoodies”

        Your bigotry again shows for all to see!

        • Anonymous
          Anonymous says:

          Who cares if they’re treated differently? Face it—empirical evidence has irrefutably demonstrated the effectiveness of profiling.

  3. Christina
    Christina says:

    Agreed. Also, let’s not forget that the contract all USC Housing residents signed at the beginning of the year outlines the guest policy, and that these new measures are in violation of that policy. The contract states that the only guests that must check in with the front desk are ones staying overnight, and that no guest can stay for more than three consecutive nights. The USC Housing director is trying to pass off these new measure by saying that obeying new rules regarding checking in and receiving a guest pass fall under the portion of the contract that obligate guests to follow USC rules of conduct. Keenan specifically cited this passage:
    “The Resident shall be fully responsible for the
    conduct of his/her guests and for informing the guest of any University rules and regulations pertaining to conduct within the Premises or the Building.”
    However, “conduct” here is referring to guest behavior and can’t be used as a blanket clause to include any new rule or stipulation housing wants to throw on us. These policies don’t legally check out.

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous says:

      This is what I would be talking about if I were still living in a USC Housing facility. Also, I would be making inquiries into the procedures involving the collection of biometric information. Who wrote them? Who audited them? Is there an outside group evaluating the manner in which the data is being handled? I doubt it—USC Housing lacks pretty much all credibility (and integrity) in my mind.

Comments are closed.