Commentary: Proctors should have option of guests on duty

As a part of their duty, Resident Assistants (RAs) must serve a four hour proctor shift every week. It’s nice for residents to see a familiar face sitting at the proctor station – someone to say hello to and shoot the breeze with.

This year, however, the Residential Safety Office has decided to prohibit guests from visiting with proctors on duty. Supervisors patrolling security camera feeds will even contact RAs or proctors on duty if they have a guest, and tell them to have their guest leave, or risk being written up.

Should residents be considered guests if they stop by to chat with an RA on their proctor shift? Four hours is a long time to just sit and swipe cards, only briefly saying hello to residents as they come in. Proctors who are not RAs are always studying or watching movies, listening to music, even talking on the phone while on their shifts, which RAs are expected not to do. How is this any different from an RA on his or her proctor shift talking to a resident for a while? Or a fellow RA? I wonder if a supervisor would write up an RA for having the RD sitting in with them, considering the RD is the person who is notified about such violations of Residential Life policy. “No guests” does mean “no guests,” after all.

I do not believe having a guest prevents RAs from performing their duty as proctor any more than studying or talking on the phone does. For proctors, this makes less sense, since they probably don’t live in the building they proctor in and thus can’t legally sign in their friends.

The Residential Safety Office should review this new policy, for the good and the happiness of the RAs.

-Elizabeth Waters is a freshman international affairs major.

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