Residential students can’t visit other halls, rooms under COVID guidelines

From+left%3A+Freshman+roomates+Naja+Butler+and+Coral+Fay+enjoy+takeout+in+the+Pederson%2FThompson+courtyard+Sept.15.+This+year%2C+Residence+Life+implemented+stricter+policies+pertaining+to+visitors+and+guests.

Isabella Breda - Editor in Chief

From left: Freshman roomates Naja Butler and Coral Fay enjoy takeout in the Pederson/Thompson courtyard Sept.15. This year, Residence Life implemented stricter policies pertaining to visitors and guests.

Jasmine Perez, Reporter

This fall, California Lutheran University Residence Life introduced stricter guest policies and social distancing guidelines aimed at keeping residential students safe during the pandemic.

“We are asking students to follow the compact that we all agreed to for being part of this community. This includes wearing a mask, staying six feet apart, and maintaining social distancing,” Chris Paul, director of Residence Life said in an email interview. “It is also a shared community responsibility so while we enforce this in the halls, everyone is responsible for following and modeling this behavior.”

All students living on campus this semester were tested for COVID-19 upon arrival.

Only student is permitted per bedroom and up to three students per four bedroom suite in Grace and Trinity Halls, Paul said.

These stricter guidelines also meant that training for Resident Assistants (RAs) looked a bit different this semester. 

“The RAs received many hours of training this year and this included multiple sessions with our Director of Health Services and [their] staff,” Paul said. “They talked with them about [COVID] and how to be safe while doing their jobs in the halls. We have been very diligent about making sure the RA’s and the rest of the Res Life team remains safe through their contact with residents in their halls.”

Sophomore Ariana Gamble, an RA in Grace Hall, said this year, it’s been hard to bond with fellow RAs and get to know her residents.

“In the previous years, there’s been a lot more getting to know [each other] in the training and working together to grow as a team,” Gamble said. “So you can be more cohesive. And that was a lot harder this year, we still had our team meetings and like, getting to know [each other] activities, but in a virtual setting.”

There is a new no visitor policy, including both residents and outside visitors, this semester, Gamble said. She also said that this semester RAs are focusing more on developing roommate agreements.

In previous years, visitors were allowed “as long as all the roommates were in agreement, then that policy changed again because there is a no visitor and guest policy for the moment and no one who is not in your room and in your suites are allowed inside of your dorm,” Gamble said.

In an email interview Gia Williams, sophomore at Cal Lutheran and first time RA in Trinity Hall, said that her primary duty as an RA this semester is to enforce the rules such as wearing a mask, social distancing, and prohibiting visitors or guests inside the residence halls.

“It’s so quiet, most of the time,” Williams said. “I remember last year I was a freshman, and I was used to seeing people walking the campus, all the time early in the morning late at night. You see tons of people going to [Ullman] Commons or tons of people in Kingsmen Park or tons of people walking around the residences.”

Williams said that this year only 80 students are living in Trinity Hall, compared to around 200 last year.

“You would hear people all the time because people would either have people in the rooms or be listening to TVs and watching shows or having parties or just different things on campus,” Williams said. “Now it’s empty.”