Following a review by Student Affairs, there will be new guidelines for the residential guest policy and event guidelines.
The announcement will take effect on March 15 at noon, and will take effect nearly one year after SMU announced it would go virtual last spring. Basic principles outlined in the Pledge to Protect will still apply, as will the requirement that all attendees of events wear face coverings, even if those events are off-campus. In a big change, guests will be allowed after being prohibited since the start of the fall semester.
Reece Iriye, a freshman and first-year senator double majoring in statistics and political science, played a key role in getting changes to the guest policy adopted by Residence Life and Student Housing (RLSH) and Student Affairs.
Iriye got involved in trying to change the policy following their observations of some inadequacies of the old policy.
“I saw that it was a good effort to limit cases of COVID on campus, but was inefficient in how it played out,” said Iriye. “The last policy incentivized lying to contact tracers and didn’t account for potential mental health problems.”
Iriye said that he and his fellow senators observed that the old policy incentivized students to go off-campus, and had the opposite effect of curbing the spread of COVID-19 on campus.
The new policy will require that students escort their guests at all times, and that the hosting student is responsible for the actions of his or her guest.
Additionally, the notice sent out by RLSH said, “all roommates must consent to allowing guests before any individual may bring a guest into a space,” and that, “no more than three people are allowed in a room at any given time.”
All spaces must also follow all social distancing guidelines.
The new policy will allow student organizations greater flexibility when it comes to planning events.
Although organizations will still be required to have an online attendance option for remote students, there is an increased ability to have indoor activities and serve food at events.
The email said, “The events group will continue weekly reviews for the remainder of the semester, and any changes will be communicated via email, social media, and Connect.”