It is so exciting to finally write this blog and speak out against visitation at Gordon College. I have had to live under the rigid policies of visitation for the past three years. For the past two years in particular, my anger with visitation has been building and this blog is the relieving exhalation of everything I have been feeling. Furthermore, I have been an RA (Resident Adviser) for the past two years so I have not only had to abide by the rules of visitation, but it was technically my job to enforce it. Since I have been an RA for two years, I know visitation like the back of my hand. Therefore, whatever I say about visitation, I am not lying or exaggerating. I will write about the rules as they are described in the RA manual. This blog will not be able to cover every single discussion regarding it, so I would encourage you to review my writing and provide your own interpretation. If you find problems with visitation that I didn’t mention, please reply with some comments. Or if you have a defense of visitation, I welcome those comments as well. I also ask that you read through each post as I believe that throughout the blog, I am able to provide a comprehensive critique, yet also approach the discussion with grace.
To understand visitation, you must understand how Gordon’s dorms are structured. We have co-ed dorms, but the genders are separated by floors. In the dorm that I lived in, the first two floors are men’s halls and the top two floors are women’s halls. Visitation is a policy that determines which locations and which times men and women can interact with each other in the dorm. In the dorms, the visitation hours are Monday-Thursday 5-10 PM, Friday 5 PM -12 AM, Saturday 1 PM-12 AM and Sunday 1PM-10PM. It is only during these hours that men can be on women’s floors and vis-versa. Another fundamental rule is that if there is somebody of an opposite gender in your room, the door must be kept wide open. Also, if somebody of the opposite gender is in your room, there must be sufficient lighting. The sufficient lighting rule says that there should be bright lights shining in the room so that if an RA is waking around, they should be able to see what the people are doing in the room. There are other implicit rules that accompany the visitation package. One of them is that is that if men and women are interacting together in a lounge or in a room, they cannot share a blanket. And, at least one of the individuals has to be sitting up at a 90 degree angle. The other person can be laying down if they so desire.
If you break visitation, you will deal with consequences which are administered by the RD’s (Resident Director). The RA’s job is to report when a resident breaks visitation. There are a number of punishments that a student can receive if they break visitation. The most common punishment is that the student loses visitation. This means that they are restricted from going on the opposite gender’s hall at any time during the day. A student’s first offense usually means that they lose visitation for two weeks. If they have multiple offenses, they can lose visitation for up to a month or longer. Another punishments is having to write an essay about why visitation is valuable. Sometimes, the student may have to do community service hours.
To read Pt. 2: Inside Gordon College: Visitation Pt. 2, Gender