SGA pushes for change to interhall rules

By Katie Garwood |

For the past several years, there’s one issue the Student Government Association has heard more from students about than any other on campus. And last week, SGA unveiled their plans to address that issue–interhall visitation.

More than 100 students came out to last Tuesday’s SGA meeting to voice their thoughts on interhall visitation, most of whom supported having looser visitation rules in residence halls.

“We could put any other topic on our agenda, on our fliers, such as we did for the interhall forum and I guarantee it would not be over 100 people,” said SGA President Colton Neubauer. “Maybe if it was an exciting topic we’d get 60. I think the sheer amount of students who showed up, I think that really demonstrates how students feel about this. And that’s 9 p.m. on a Tuesday.”

In Ponce and Cedar Hall, Lewis House and the three FEC buildings, interdorm visitation is restricted to 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. on weekdays and extended to 2 a.m. on weekends. During this time, members of the opposite sex can be in each other’s dorm rooms.

“We could be getting the next Bill Gates, the next Steve Jobs, you name it that could be passing through Flagler but maybe we missed them, we didn’t catch them because we have these very strict rules,” Neubauer said. “Of course any institution needs rules, but we don’t see the need for this one.”

SGA plans to propose extending the visitation hours in Ponce, Cedar and Lewis residence halls, which are mostly for freshmen, as well as adding security cameras in each building. In FEC, SGA would propose having open visitation, just as the newly-constructed Abare Hall has.

So far with open visitation in Abare Hall, things have gone smoothly.

“Abare serves as a testament to students and faculty and administration that life goes on without interhall,” said Hannah Pierce, chair of SGA’s Policy Advancement Liaisons committee. “We don’t have unwed mothers, and people running amuck in the hallways with their significant other. Things have been business as usual there.”

With Joseph Joyner, the college’s new president, starting in August, the 50th anniversary of the college and the fourth anniversary of the start of interhall on campus, SGA leaders said they felt there was no better time to bring forward this proposal.

Pierce said SGA hopes to have the proposal passed by the end of the semester. Ultimately, the decision made on changes to interhall will be made by the board of trustees.

“We do have a pretty receptive administration in terms of student needs and concerns,” Neubauer said. “That gives us a lot of hope for getting this done.”

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