Scripps Escort Policy Adapts After Negative Reaction

Modifications of the Scripps dorm escort and guest policy were approved recently by the Scripps Associated Students (SAS) after a survey given to the student body showed that most students were dissatisfied with the current policy.

The policy now allows guests to travel to and from bathrooms without being escorted by their student host, according to an e-mail by SAS. However, the host student’s door must remain open for the duration of the guest’s presence in the halls. Guests are also required to flip a sign indicating “guest inside” to alert residents of their presence.

Prior to the changes, Scripps students were required to escort their guests from the time they enter each dorm building to the time their guests leave the dorms. All guests had to be accompanied by a Scripps student escort at all times in the halls. The policy also required students to escort their guests to and from the restrooms.

The modifications reflect student frustration with the strict implications of the escort policy, particularly as the policy requires students to accompany their guests to hall bathrooms, even though the bathroom may be a short distance from a student’s room.

Ariel Bloomer SC ’12 expressed her annoyance with the strict requirements of the policy. “Personally, it was awkward and kind of embarrassing having to police my guest,” she said. “I think it made my boyfriend uncomfortable for me to have to stand guard by the bathroom.”

Although she understood the need for a policy that allows students to keep track of visitors, Bloomer believed that strict enforcement of an escort policy may not be the most effective way. “It’s a good idea to know who’s in the building and who’s responsible for their presence, just in case. I just don’t think following them around is necessarily the way to do that,” she said.

As a large portion of the student body was in favor of changes to the escort policy, SAS and resident advisors brainstormed ideas that would respect residents and their guests.

Changes proposed included obtaining hall passes that have the name of the host student, bathroom signs to alert residents of a guest’s presence, registering frequent guests with resident advisors, or holding students responsible for introducing their frequent guests to neighbors. Two-thirds of students surveyed chose bathroom signs as the best proposed solution to the escort policy issues.

Although the other 5Cs do not have similarly stringent escort policies, some larger universities take more precaution in tracking visitors of student dorms. At the University of Maryland, guests must be accompanied by a resident of the dorm they visit. Furthermore, every stairwell and elevator is only accessible by key access, which only residents of the building possess.

Resident advisor Melissa Lewis SC ’09 said that the changes have not gone into effect for most dorms.

“I am pleased with the modification to the escort policy; however, I have not seen many changes yet,” she said. “The modification does not jeopardize residents’ feelings of safety, which is one of the most important reasons for the escort policy.”

Lewis emphasized the need for residents to feel secure in their living situations, especially in women’s only dorms.

“Some residents feel more comfortable living with women only,” she said. “Their wishes must be respected and I believe this modification of the guest policy remains courteous to all residents.”

The policy was proposed to take effect after Apr. 1 or after signs appear on bathroom doors.

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