COVID-19 has reshaped college life to a new normal. Fairfield students have complied with new guidelines regarding social distancing and mask wearing.
One of these changes instituted was a change to the university’s guest policy. With the return of students to campus last year, the University established a stringent no-guest policy in an attempt to stop the spread and ensure the safety of those on campus.
Prior to COVID-19, students were allowed to fill out an overnight guest pass to allow their guest on campus. Now, this pass is unavailable due to the health risk of bringing others onto campus.
Another safety measure that the University took to ensure there was a record and better control of who was going in and out of campus, was to close most of the gates on campus. All gates other than the front entrance on North Benson Road and the Barlow Gate near Faber Hall were closed.
The University built another Public Safety booth near Faber Hall, and both open gates required swipe access with a valid Stag Card. Though the main gate remained open 24/7, the gate on Barlow Road closed at night.
On Nov. 1 all the gates were re-opened on campus and the requirement to swipe in was lifted during the day. As of now, all of the gates other than the main North Benson Gate will close at 11 p.m. and Stag Cards will be required between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. The Townhouse and Jogues gates will close at 6 p.m. on Fridays through Sundays.
With the new changes virtually anyone can get onto campus without proof of a stag card or ID in general during the day.
This has raised mixed opinions from students.
For senior beach students such as Caroline Kavanagh ‘22 the gate opening is a good thing, as the gates have helped traffic congestion.
“Opening the gates was a great move on behalf of the University. I find that opening all gates reduced a lot of the traffic that resulted from the main gate being the sole entrance and exit for all vehicles.” She states, continuing, “The gate near the Dolan School of Business and the townhouses provides an alternate way to get into campus, decreasing my commute time.”
Junior Caroline McConville echoed this sentiment.
“I initially was very happy all the gates were being opened because it makes getting on and off campus so much easier,” McConville said.
She continues, “…the townhouse gate is honestly a game changer being so close to me.”
However, McConville shared some worries with the change. “While it makes a commute on and off campus easier, it is an eerie feeling knowing that basically anyone can get on and off campus.”
McConville goes on to mention that “…especially with regards to who is vaccinated, I feel like our school has done such a good job this semester [so] it would be a shame if unvaccinated guests caused an uptick in cases potentially.”
In The Mirror’s weekly crime beat report with Captain Frank Ficko of the Department of Public Safety there have been 15 instances of COVID guest policy violations this semester. From trying to sneak individuals on campus, to showing fake IDs to DPS, to driving through the gate at night.
Junior Cristiana Callegari has similar sentiment to that of McConville stating, “…while I think that opening all the gates can be convenient for traffic and commuting, the risk of having guests and what that entails for safety and COVID can be concerning.”
Callegari believes that “It is nice to see a switch in trying to make our campus look as it did before COVID, it is important that we still all realise the pandemic is ongoing and the risk is still high for the spread.”
The Mirror will continue to cover guest policy infractions in our weekly crime beat and also update students on any other changes made with the guest policy and gate opening policies.