By Benjamin Solomon, Staff Writer
UMass Dartmouth students who live on campus may have heard about the Housing Office’s new guest policy. This new policy largely retains rules from the previous policy while incorporating a new procedure for the guest sign in process. Importantly, residents are still permitted to sign in up to three guests at a time, per night. Students are also still required to sign in with their guests after 7 p.m.
So, what’s new? Before a guest can be signed in at the desk in a residence hall, they are required to be pre-registered via Housing’s online Star Rez portal. The registration consists of entering the guest’s personal information such as name, ID number (of whatever photo ID is being used), and cell phone number.
Interestingly, there appears to be no way to navigate directly to the Star Rez portal via the my.umassd.edu website. Rather, the page can only be accessed by typing out the whole address. Luckily, this address is printed on posters located in the lobby of each building, which also detail the pre-registration process. After this is completed, the guest can swipe in or present their photo ID to the desk attendant or RA as usual.
Let’s compare the new process to the old. When swiping in a UMass Dartmouth student, the old process entailed simply swiping the host’s UMass Dartmouth ID first, selecting an option on the computer, and then swiping the guest’s ID card. The process of signing in a non-UMass Dartmouth guest was a little more complicated, involving the desk attendant/RA typing the ID number in themselves.
After interviewing several students, the reaction seems to be mostly negative. The general sentiment was that the preregistration process is overly cumbersome.
One student, Rick H., described it as “push[ing] the work from the RAs onto the students.” This refers to the residents being required to fill out the personal information rather than the desk attendants/RAs as before.
According to another student, Allan P., the process “takes increased time, just to go through to register someone when you haven’t realized you actually have to do it.” In other words, Allan is expressing a concern that pre-registration gets in the way of spontaneity, a concern echoed by a few other students interviewed.
This negativity was not shared by all. One anonymous student expressed strong indifference, saying “I don’t give a [expletive], I don’t [expletive] live here.” A few others shared the feeling that they did not mind taking the time to fill out the pre-registration. Despite this, these interviews did not find anyone feeling enthusiastic about the change.
Considering the preceding information, how do you feel about the new guest policy? Do the changes make you feel more secure than before? Does this seem like an appropriate amount of effort in order to sign a guest in?