The Maroon

Editorial: Residential Life needs to prioritize desk assistants

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Editorial: Residential Life needs to prioritize desk assistants

Photo credit: Hayley Hynes

Photo credit: Hayley Hynes


Photo credit: Hayley Hynes



Photo credit: Hayley Hynes

Grant Dufrene

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Remember the days when you would stress walk past a desk assistant, strategically covering the building sticker on your ID just so that you wouldn’t have to come back hours later to retrieve it?

You know, back in the days when the dorms actually staffed the minimal security required to ensure that the only people entering a residential hall were actually … residents.

Well, looks like that’s not a problem any more.

That’s because a recent change in Residential Life rules means that during the hours of 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., anyone can walk into Buddig, Cabra or Carrollton halls.

So that means any Buddig resident can now visit their friend in Carrollton without having to give up their ID. No problem. That also means that anyone from anywhere can now enter any dorm for any reason. Same deal — no problem.

This leads not only to the obvious problem of anyone being able to enter the buildings, but also minor problems for residents, like not being able to access cleaning supplies or toilet paper from the service desk.

And these changes have not only taken residents off guard, but DAs as well, with one telling us that DAs had already planned their schedules around working during the day this semester.

This move by Residential Life has not only been unfair to its residents but to its staff, as well.

The Residential Life staff is one that is supposed to directly communicate issues to residents; so if they are being kept in the dark, what does that say of Residential Life’s commitment to its residents, many of whom are unaware that there has been any policy change?

This would seem to indicate a communication issue between students and Residential Life.

Case in point: The Maroon called the Biever RA phone for a comment on a story but received no answer.

We also called the phone number for the community director (which is not listed on new posters in dorms, even though that’s who you’re supposed to call when no RA on duty is available), but were redirected to University Police, who took down our contact information and never called back.

These cutbacks have been attributed to financial issues, but if that is the case, why are there sometimes two desk assistants working in a single dorm at the same time, which is the case during “high traffic times”?

In any case, even the front desk at Biever Hall, which is said to be occupied 24 hours, is sometimes seen empty.

This is a problem when residents from other halls expect to turn to the Biever desk, which is supposed to be the service desk, for assistance and are left without help. For example, students are expected to turn to the DA in Biever if they are locked out of their building.

So why not spread out that labor from when two DAs are on duty to have someone always available at the Biever desk?

There are a lot of questions like this that remain unclear.

Ultimately, there’s just one question that matters, though. Residential Life – can you really say that these new policies use your resources to prioritize student safety?

Director of Residential Life Amy Boyle stated that it is important to remember the safety of the building is not dependent on one student sitting behind a desk. However, consistency in work practice and ethic from our desk assistants in the community is essential to ensure our comfort and safety.

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Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola
Editorial: Residential Life needs to prioritize desk assistants