OP-EDS

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November 9, 2007

Bad company

Houseguests shouldn’t overstay their welcome. So either the residents of Hitchcock House are unusually hospitable, or a serious lack of communication allowed John Daniel George, a college student from Michigan, to stay for over a month in a two-person U of C dorm room.

During George’s extended stay in Hitchcock, Resident Heads (R.H.s) Ben and Jenny Quijano Sax received as many as 15 complaints a day from residents who were uncomfortable with their unwelcome housemate’s alleged marijuana use, beligerence, and misogynistic comments.

The University’s housing policy dictates that guests may stay in students’ rooms for no longer than three nights unless they receive special permission from the Housing Office. So why was it that the Housing Office took notice only after George had stayed for more than a month and prompted dozens of complaints?

A student who pays for an already cramped double should not have to share it with a third roommate. In this case, neither roommate claimed to be bothered by George’s presence, but it is easy to imagine a similar situation in which a student might passively acquiesce to an undesirable long-term guest as a way of keeping the peace.

The Housing Office’s “three night” rule is designed to prevent this sort of problem, but the policy can only work if R.H.s enforce it. The Hitchcock R.H.s’ failure to respond to complaints in a timely and decisive manner caused their residents unnecessary anxiety.

The Housing Office should thoroughly investigate why this situation was so mishandled. Additionally, it should review its policies to ensure that similar situations are dealt with more effectively in the future.

The Maroon Editorial Board consists of the Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor, Viewpoints Editors, and an additional Editorial Board member.