From Where We Are

Let there be guests! USC modifies guest policy for students living on campus.

‘Beginning today students living in residential halls are able to host guests for the first time since the start of the pandemic.’

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It’s the Monday after fall break, and some students are returning to their dorms after a long weekend away. It’s also the first day these on-campus residents can guest in students from other buildings—or at least they can do this officially now.

Starting today students living in on-campus housing are now able to bring fellow students into their dorm buildings. Because of COVID, before today, residents were prohibited from hosting students who didn’t live in the same building as them. Freshman Andrew Nguyen says this policy made it difficult to socialize with people outside of his specific dorm building.

NGUYEN: Living in the dorms without any guests allowed was definitely a little bit more difficult to meet people at first, considering most of the people that I interacted with and that were primarily just from my floor alone

The new guest policy only applies to other USC students, meaning people outside of the Trojan community are still unable to enter dorm buildings. Residents and guests must be compliant with USC’s COVID-19 guidelines. They will need to show their Trojan checks along with their USC ID cards.

Nguyen feels that the previous policy was counterintuitive considering students were able to interact in other capacities.

NGUYEN: in the dining halls, you get to like talk and said close in close quarters with a lot of people from other other like residential buildings. So I find it a little bit strange or like kind of like contrasting that we can’t bring in guests into our building.

Sophomore Alisha Soni points out the many welcome events USC put on at the beginning of the year. Considering that USC hosted large events such as an over-crowded welcome concert, Soni finds it strange that they did not allow guests in the dorms.

SONI: And so to see those events taking place, but then to also see that they’re not allowing or at least up until this point, they weren’t allowing other USC residents who like, may not live in your building, but are also following the same precautions like Trojan checking, getting tested and everything why they’re not allowed to come into my dorm. That definitely seems a little contradictory.

Despite the previous guest policy, some students found ways to sneak in guests. Karina Gironas is a freshman living in Birnkrant.

GIRONES: I did sneak a couple of people in. It wasn’t too difficult, but it was still kind of nervous because if you get caught, you know you could get in trouble. But yeah, I mean, I would definitely make me feel more comfortable having people over and stuff now that I could do it right.

The new policy limits each resident to 2 guests. This is the same restriction that was placed on students living in dorms before the pandemic. The difference now is that when guests are present, everyone is required to wear a mask.

Students in residential halls seem to be very excited to finally be able to guest in their friends in without breaking any rules. Sophomore Alisha Soni isn’t wasting any time taking advantage of the new policy.

SONI: I already invited some friends over later today to hang out and do a little study session. So yeah, I’m definitely using it.

Adhering to the COVID-19 guidelines is essential for students to maintain the new guest policy. Students who violate these rules may get their guest privileges revoked.