Commuter freshmen unable to access mandatory events

The standard procedure for access to a residence hall is for the commuter to be signed in by a resident from that building. For freshmen who have yet to make many resident friends, this can be a difficult process. If no resident is willing to sign a student in, the student will be denied access.

Tara Hart, director of Housing and Residence Life, explained why commuters must sign in.

“We need to have a record of everyone who is physically in the building so that in an emergency situation we are able to reconcile where the students physically are in the building and that they are safe and accounted for,” Hart said.

Hart also added that when a student uses their ID card anywhere on campus, the swipe is added to a record.

If the student is unaccounted for during an emergency, officials can look at the record and note if a student’s ID card has been used anywhere else, such as printing in the library or eating in the cafeteria, after they entered the residence hall.

Carrico, a commuter, also has difficulty getting in residence halls.

“For me, it’s frustrating because I’m not going in there to mess around,” Carrico said. “For the freshmen, it’s hard for them to get into the events, especially commuters.”

According to Hart, there is a reason why COMPASS events are held in residence halls.

“We often times have a difficult time when we are planning an event far in advance to obtain a classroom or space that can accommodate when we don’t know for sure how many people are coming,” Hart said.

Hart said Housing and Residence Life try to use spaces they have control of, such as the Pirate’s Cellar and Aquinas lounge.

“I think they do try to make them accessible to commuters but it’s hard for them to do that,” Carrico said.

Hart said Housing and Residence Life is aware of the issue commuters have attending COMPASS events.

They are working on a solution for coming years. However, for this year, there is no procedure currently in place for commuters to get into residence halls for these events.

According to Hart, one such solution that has been explored is staffing the ministry entrance with a Resident Assistant. The RA can then collect commuters’ IDs and allow them access to the Cellar.

“It’s a good kind of tension to have. We have more students who want to participate in programs that the University is offering is a great thing,” Hart said.

Jessica Card can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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