By: Shlomit Ebbin  | 

YU Restores Policy Allowing Guests on Campus

YU will restore its policy allowing guests onto Beren or Wilf campuses beginning Thursday, April 7, Assistant Dean of Students Sara Asher emailed on April 5. 

Guests were prohibited in the dormitory and academic buildings since the outbreak of COVID-19 in March 2020. The new policy — which outlined the rules for both daytime and overnight guests — states that guests must be fully vaccinated and the student host must receive prior approval by the university. 

The visiting policy maintained that YU “reserves the right to remove or restrict any visitor at any time and for any (or no) reason as it may deem necessary or desirable.” Additionally, the person will be asked to leave if they are coughing or exhibit any sign of illness.

“We commend you all for your patience and understanding as we worked towards this policy change this semester,” said Asher in her email. “Please read carefully, the details are important! Your adherence to the guidelines will ensure a better guest clearance experience.”

Attached to Asher’s email was a four-page document outlining the specific requirements for guests, breaking it down between daytime and nighttime/Shabbat visitors. 

For daytime visitors, the student host is only allowed to have a maximum of two visitors between the hours of 8 a.m and 10 p.m. Visitors coming to campus for more than three days must be up to date on their COVID-19 booster vaccinations. 

For overnight and Shabbat visitors, the student host cannot have more than one guest at a time and the guest is not permitted to stay more than three nights. The guest must be between the ages of 16-25 “and otherwise deemed suitable,” fully vaccinated including a booster if eligible and have submitted a negative COVID test at most 72 hours prior. 

Visitors are permitted to go to the host’s residence hall, minyanim, the batei midrash, the dining halls and the Shenk Shul. However, visitors are not permitted to use the campus shuttles, the libraries or the athletic facilities. Additionally, guests are not allowed to attend university events unless those events are open to the public. Visitors must always be accompanied by their student host. 

The Commentator reached out to several resident advisors (RA) from Beren and Wilf campuses, all of whom declined to comment, citing instruction from the Office of University Housing and Residence Life. RAs were not consulted on the policy nor was it explained to them beforehand; however, the housing department will host a meeting with the RAs to explain it to them on Wednesday, April 6. 

The email sent to RAs about this policy did not differentiate between the roles of RAs on the Beren and Wilf campuses, which contradicted certain points in Asher’s email. The email stated that for overnight and Shabbat visitors “the student host must receive prior approval from their RA and University Housing at least 48 hours prior to the visit” and “the guest form must be approved by their RA.” These statements are only true for Wilf Campus. Beren students should only be contacting Housing prior to the visit, and should request a signature on the approved form from the RA on duty when the visitor arrives. 

Even with these difficulties, other students are excited about the policy. “It’s always fun to show friends outside of Stern what dorming here looks like,” said Meira Axelrod (SCW ‘22).

Photo Caption: Guests have not been allowed since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. 

Photo Credit: YU