Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass revises guest policy for Super Bowl weekend

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Collegian File Photo

(Collegian File Photo)

Given the New England Patriots’ absence from Super Bowl 50, University of Massachusetts officials have modified the Residence Hall guest policy for the upcoming Super Bowl weekend.

The new changes to the policy, according to a recent email sent out to the University community by UMass Student Affairs, will allow standard guest policies to remain in effect Friday and Saturday, with only moderate restrictions set for Super Bowl Sunday.

In the email, UMass Student Affairs announced that beginning Sunday, Feb. 7 at noon and continuing through Monday, Feb. 8 at 8:00 a.m., up to four UMass students may be signed in as guests. NonUMass students cannot be signed in during this period.

While students remain prohibited from signing in non­UMass Amherst students on Sunday, the modified guest policy overall is less restrictive than the University had originally intended. In an email sent out last December, UMass Student Affairs initially stated that students living on campus “will have four guest sign­ins, which can only be used to host other students living in the same residential area.”

The University’s changed leniency toward the policy, according to Student Government Association President Sïonan Barrett, results from their collaboration with the SGA to enforce a policy that reflects the University’s trust in students to act responsibly.

“In collaborating with University officials, we work out what type of guest policy will be most effective and will meet the interests of (both) students and the University,” Barrett said.   “This year, we recommended that the University take on a more relaxed approach (toward the policy), and they decided to take our suggestion,” Barrett added.

Barrett stated that the SGA’s suggestion results from their observance of negative student reactions to the Super Bowl XLIX guest policy, adding that “last year, the Super Bowl guest policy limited students to their own residence halls and this upset many students … (They felt that) they weren’t being trusted to behave appropriately.”

Tristan Evarts, a senior English and philosophy double major, similarly viewed the restrictive former guest policy as ineffective.

“I can’t imagine (the University) would try to make (the policy much) stricter, because last year’s strict policies fell rather flat. Making it less strict would probably make things better,” Evarts said. “People in general hate being told what to do, so the less restrictive a policy is, the less temptation there is to blatantly try to rebel against it.”

In addition to students rebelling against guest policies, UMass has had a long history of large student gatherings and crowd-­related disturbances that occurred during major sporting events. Chloe Trepanier, a sophomore communication major, stated her belief that the revised guest policy results from the University’s desire to enforce a policy that will prevent riots from occurring on campus.

“They’re trying to prevent outside people from getting involved in a future or possible riot like last year’s,” Trepanier said. “So by adjusting the policy and by not allowing any students outside UMass in the dorms, it’ll probably happen.”

Trepanier added that while the University’s current approach to the policy is an improvement, it does not prevent guests from outside UMass from being on the campus itself.

“Even if you don’t live in the buildings, you can still go into the main central area and hang out with UMass students and no security is going to tell you that you can’t,” Trepanier said, “The campus itself is generally open to the public, so (UMass security) can’t kick out people gathering on the campus itself.”

In terms of nonUMass students, Barrett explained that the University wants to enforce a policy that reflects their differing attitudes towards outside guests and UMass students.

“The University as a whole does not trust outside guests and for them, preventing non­UMass students from entering campus is a primary concern,” Barrett said, “The University trusts UMass students to behave appropriately, and this policy is on UMass students themselves…their actions this weekend will determine the effectiveness of the current policy.”

Elizabeth Kane can be reached at [email protected]

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