BY ALEXIS GRAVES
On Thursday, Feb. 6 a forum was held in Christ Chapel to discuss the quality-of-life surveys that were distributed in the dorms. The forum was brought up because the surveys indicated some student disapproval of the current times for open dorm hours.
Dean of Student Life Julie Vermeer Elliott and Director of Residence Life Marlon Haverdink were there to answer questions the students had and to listen to what the students had to say.
“(The students) had an opportunity to hear why we have the policies that we do, and we got to hear from them about what they did and didn’t like about the current policies.” Elliott said.
This forum was a way to elaborate on the results of the quality-of-life surveys.
“On the surveys, you tend to hear the extremes, either the people who are really happy or the people who are extremely unhappy, and there are often a lot of viewpoints that don’t get expressed in the comments,” Elliott said.
There were approximately 50 members of the NW community who attended to listen and voice their opinions about dorm hours.
“I wish there would have been more people there so we would have had a better cross section of campus, but for the people who were there I think it was a great conversation,” Haverdink said. “We heard great feedback from students and also got a chance to explain and answer questions.”
The two main topics discussed were the visitation hours and the lack of 24-hour areas or places for groups to hang out in. The current visitation hours haven’t been changed in 15 years. At the forum, there was a theme of wanting to change the current dorm hours to allow for earlier hours in the afternoon.
Many of the students suggested that visitation hours be opened up at either 2 or 3 in the afternoon. “I want to look seriously at opening the dorms earlier,” Haverdink said. “It seemed like it was something that the students wanted.”
The other topic was the possibility of creating more locations on campus that would be open after the dorms close. Right now, there are limited places for students to hang out in groups after hours other than the residence life lounges.
“The idea (of more 24- hour areas) has come up periodically but wasn’t really front and center for us, but now it is something we want to look at and consider,” Haverdink said.
The visitation hours forum helped the students learn more about the current policies NW has and voice their opinions.
“We want students to be satisfied with their experiences at Northwestern,” Elliott said.