Beginning March 19, the University’s guest policies for on-campus housing will extend to allow non-affiliate guests. This policy change comes after the lifting of other restrictions as a result of high vaccination and booster rates on campus.
Once these policies are in effect, residents can host both University affiliates and non-affiliates. Currently, only affiliates are allowed as guests. Students will be limited to a maximum of three guests per residential unit and all guests may stay for up to 72 hours. They must be signed in with a government-issued ID and remain with the student at all times.
In an email to The News-Letter, Vice President for Communications Andrew Green wrote that the University shifted this policy in response to positive developments in public health conditions.
“The decision to allow non-affiliate guests in residence halls was made in recognition of decreased COVID rates on campus and in the community, and is one of several temporary restrictions we have been able to lift as the omicron wave has receded,” he wrote.
Freshman Camilla Rubinstein wrote in an email to The News-Letter that she expects the policy to facilitate socializing with friends and family while still emphasizing safety.
“I think it would make sense for guests to be vaccinated/test negative before doing anything where their masks would be off though just to prevent the spread of Covid and maintain the safe environment we have on campus,” she wrote.
According to the University, non-affiliate guests will still be expected to adhere to the University’s vaccination requirements.
Green wrote that this policy will be enforced on an honor system basis.
“Vaccination compliance for students’ guests in their dorm rooms will be on the honor system,” he wrote. “Campus guests who are here for formal programs may be required to upload vaccination documentation or show proof of vaccination.”
In an email to The News-Letter, freshman Jean Zhou noted that she finds the updated guest policies reasonable and expects them to fit the needs of the student body while also noting room for improvement.
“It would also be great if students can swipe into other dorms as well, beyond the current limit of 12 pm–8 pm,” she wrote. “That would be much more convenient, especially for people to study and socialize with friends (like the policies at the beginning of fall semester).”
Freshman Iman Hassanin mirrored this sentiment, stating that there should be distinctions regarding who is required to sign in.
“I don't really get the point of signing in other students,” she said. “I feel like on-campus housing should be open to all undergraduates, but signing in makes sense for non-JHU undergraduates.”
Housing Operations stated that it will continue assessing public health conditions, with the intention of loosening more restrictions as the public health situation improves.
Freshman London Craddock also stated that while the policy itself would not significantly impact him, he finds the implications to be striking given how Hopkins has been approaching COVID-19 restrictions in the past.
“The fact that Hopkins, as an institution that has handled the pandemic so carefully, has reinstated the guest policy gives me so much hope and optimism about the current state of things, and it is all due to our high rates of vaccinations,” he said.