Housing visitor policy reverts to pre-pandemic status


Emily Soto

Guests will have to provide a government issued ID to be checked into resident halls.

For the first time since March of 2020, DePaul students can now welcome all vaccinated guests into their on-campus housing units.

DePaul’s Department of Housing and Residential Education updated its visitor policy on April 11. The updated policy opens on-campus housing to DePaul students and non-students. Before, the only people who were allowed into campus housing were DePaul students, parents and guardians.

“DePaul housing formed its latest decision about the visitor policy based on a variety of factors, including the number of cases in our resident community on campus and throughout Chicago,” said Rick Moreci, director of housing, dining and student centers. “Moreover, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently released a new Covid-19 community level system to help measure Covid risk, which we are now taking into account.”

The updated visitor policy allows for students to have a maximum of two vaccinated guests. However, there are still guidelines that students must follow when hosting guests.

Both the student and the visitors must sign in and out at the security desk at the front of the residence hall. The guests must present their DePaul student ID or government-issued ID. If they are not a DePaul student, they must show proof of vaccination as well.

“I am from the suburbs, so it will be nice that when my hometown friends or my brothers come to visit me, I will be able to bring them into my dorm, especially if the weather isn’t so great outside,” said Payton Ramsey, freshman and University Hall resident. “I will even be able to have friends spend the night if we wanted.”

The university has regularly updated its housing policies since the start of the pandemic, and due to ongoing uncertainties regarding potential new variants, the door remains open for DePaul to update the policies again. In the week of April 8, 50 student cases were reported, while there were 19 cases in the week of April 15, according to DePaul’s Covid-19 Dashboard.

“We have an internal committee of staff from Housing, Residential Education and Public safety, and our planning process has not changed since the beginning of the pandemic,” Moreci said. “We monitor Covid cases, review guidance from local authorities and public health organizations and meet regularly to discuss next steps for the visitor policy.”

In the transition to spring quarter, the university began to lighten up on their safety protocols for the pandemic, which included the visitor policy. When the school returned from spring break, masks became optional around campus and, as of April 11, inside classrooms.

However, some students have mixed reactions about the changes to the pandemic policies which were announced in the past few weeks.

“I think it’s great if you have family visiting and they want to see your apartment,” said junior Emilie Jonas, who lives in Sanctuary Hall. “But I think in terms of a Covid perspective, having especially a lot of friends in the dorm and people from other colleges, maybe from people’s hometowns who live here, I think it’s a little risky.”

College students’ living spaces can be a key part of their college experience. From the personal touches added to the time spent there, sharing that space with friends and family is half the experience.

“Although I have yet to take advantage of the change, being able to have friends come in will be very convenient, especially for friends from out of Chicago,” said freshman Molly Tinkey, who lives in Belden-Racine Hall. “Instead of meeting outside the dorm, I can just hang out in my own space. Many of my friends and family are just curious to see the dorm and my room.”

For Amber Rosegay, freshman and University Hall resident, who said she is in a long-distance relationship, the former visitor policy meant that she always had to take the train to her boyfriend’s place to see him. Rosegay said she appreciates that he can now come visit her in her dorm, but she is still wary of the fluctuating policies.

“I’m happy that we’ll be able to have people who are outside of DePaul come to visit, just because I have friends [who] obviously don’t go here, but go to other colleges nearby, so it would be nice to have them be able to come by and visit,” Rosegay said. “Then, at the same time, with them allowing guests to come in, and at the same time lifting the mask policy, I felt like it was a lot of undoing Covid procedures all at once.”

If there are any future updates to the housing visitor policy, further information can be found on DePaul’s housing website under “Resident Resources and Visitor Policies.”