Hannah Manning and Brigid Archibald
Just as the freshmen got used to signing someone in by hand, they had to learn a completely new process which involves the Online Housing Portal and host students henpecking their guests’ details into a form which is far from mobile-friendly.
This past semester, the Office of Residence Life rolled out a pilot program which digitized the entire guest sign-in process in the hopes of simplifying the mind-numbing sign-in process. In an email sent out shortly before the move-in period began, the Office of Residence Life announced the change and provided a tutorial on how to complete the new process.
If a resident in either Fox Hall or the Inn & Conference Center (ICC) wants to bring a friend over, they’ll have to register their guest on the housing portal before they reach the security desk.
Big surprise: the residents do not appreciate the change.
“I don’t like that you have to plan ahead. I’m not used to that,” said Adrian Verdugo, a freshman resident in the ICC.
Deedee Ozoh, a junior resident advisor (RA) in the ICC, said that while RAs tend to appreciate the change, some residents are not having it.
“It’s a lot easier on the RAs because it saves us time and also for residents because they have all their guest already in the site,” said Ozoh. “Not all the residents are too happy, because some of them might think they don’t want to do the work on their part.”
Harrison Pound is a freshman living in Fox Hall and is not enjoying doing the extra leg work at the security desk. He calls it “a pain” having to register his guests’ information and does not appreciate still having to show the RA at the security desk both his and his guests’ identification cards.
The worst part of it may be that Pound has not noticed any improvement in the lines.
“It’s made the lines a lot worse,” he said, noting that it gets particularly clustered late at night when there is a buildup of hosts needing to register their
Another freshman Fox Hall resident, Natalie Le, finds that the new system is faster in her opinion. She said that it might be easier if there is a fire alarm, because having these guests registered electronically may clean up the lines.
However, she also thinks that the problem of the long lines has not been completely eradicated. She says that because RA’s still need to check everyone’s IDs, there is still a pileup at the security desk.
When asked how she might fix that problem, Le suggested, “Maybe if it’s another student I’ve already checked in, then they can tap their card during the time frame I’ve checked them in for.”
While that seems to be feasible, the RA’s might still need to see everyone’s IDs once more.
Yveliana Oquendo is a sophomore living in Fox Hall who finds the new system “annoying and kind of stupid,” mostly because she finds the extra effort to be all for naught.
“I think it’s kind of dumb how we have to put in all the info online and when we sign them in they can see that info, but they still ask to see the I.D. I think it’s more time consuming,” Oquendo said.
On the other side of the debate, Ozoh finds that as an RA she observes that it is a simpler system for everyone. While she has seen some students at the ICC struggle with the change in policy, many more have not had an issue.
“If I am being honest a lot of people have had success with it, but others don’t like the change,” Ozoh said.
With the mid-year change, there are still many confused residents who are not sure how exactly the program is supposed to work.
Verdugo finds that the old system was mostly satisfactory. “Maybe get rid of the paper slips. Just looking at the ID should be enough,” he said.
While Le thought that the new process was better than the pen and paper method, she was not quite sure about when to sign someone in again or not.
“So, you do it online, right? So, if in that time frame say one of them leaves to grab something do, I have to sign them back in, or can they just show the pass?” she asked.
Oquendo, who had over a year with the old sign-in process, thinks that the new way is not any more effective than the former. She said that if anything, it may be easier to scam the system.
“People can still stay here as long as they want. They can still finesse because there is always a way around the system. It’s just more time-consuming,” she said.
The new way of signing guests in at the ICC and Fox Hall is still in its infancy. Perhaps as more time passes, residents may find it less challenging or even easier than the standard way of signing in.
But as for right now, public opinion is utterly split.The RA’s love it, and the residents hate it.