Open Dorms: Student Body Government Perspective
This semester, The Northerner has dug into NCU’s open dorm policy, finding out what students think and what the university says. Now we are hearing from the student body government on this issue. An overwhelming number of students have voiced dissatisfaction with the current North Central visitation policy. Conversations with NCU staff revealed it is possible for change to take place, but it starts with the student body government. If you have not yet read previous articles, here is the student opinion and university perspective!
After talking with Chris Woelfle, Carlson Hall resident director and associate dean of residence life, and Jeremy Williamson, associate vice president of student life and dean of students, it was discovered that policy changes for open dorm hours need to be headed by the student body government. The most recent policy change occurred during the 2017-2018 school year when the former student government proposed changes that sparked administrative action. When last conducted, one step in this process included informing students of the implications of increased visitation hours and sending out a student opinion survey. Many students enjoy the level of privacy and comfort that accompanies floors free of opposite-gender visitors. Students need to be aware of what extending open dorm hours would actually entail.
In order to see what our current student representatives think, The Northerner reached out to the current student body president and vice president but was unable to set up a meeting in order to find out more about the process. Change is unlikely to be implemented for next year, but that does not mean it will never happen. We decided to contact NCU’s student body president for the upcoming 2022-23 school year, Derek Burgin. The Northerner and its readers want to know if the open dorm policy will be an issue the student government is willing to tackle next year. When asked if this would be on the agenda, Burgin responded, “[it] is something that has definitely been on my mind.” He further explained that he first needs to discuss this matter with his vice president, Kaylie Crabtree, to determine if it is something they are both willing to advocate for. Burgin also warned this policy is one North Central feels strongly about defending so there are “no guarantees on whether or not it can be fixed.” This comment is contradictory to the conversations The Northerner had with the university staff. In fact, both Woelfle and Williamson indicated they were open to conversations about changing the hours. This begs the question if the university actually is rigid on the policy or if that is just what most people assume. Both Burgin and Crabtree have made it clear their intentions in these leadership roles are to serve the student body and represent NCU well.
It is not just on Derek Burgin and Kaylie Crabtree or North Central’s resident staff to bring about change with the open door policy; the responsibility also rests on the students. The student government will host several town hall meetings throughout the upcoming school year where students can attend to hear updates and voice their concerns. Anyone who wants to provide their input should make it a priority to attend these meetings and contact the student body government directly. Whether you want to see changes in the current visitation policy or you like it as is, let your voice be heard.