Save The 14th Amendment of the U. Constitution contains the Equal Protection Clause, which says that the laws of a state must treat an individual fairly and similarly to other people in similar circumstances. Rules and regulations of institutions other than government, such as education, have a little more leeway.
In the name of student protection, University Housing at N. State has adopted a system of hypocritical rules regarding visitation of members of the opposite sex. Most colleges in North Carolina and other states of the South follow this same unfair system, whereas Northern universities have a more uniform system. The Southern system of visitation is currently outdated and should be revised immediately. State, University residence hall visitation follows two different sets of rules.
Guests of the same sex may stay overnight as long as the students' roommate agrees. The only redeemable portion of the policy is roommate agreement, which should always be included when guest visitation is concerned. If a roommate is not comfortable with a guest they are allowed to report the incident to their resident advisor, whether they reside in a 24 hour dorm or not.
Every other rule is utterly ridiculous, especially the fact that the residence hall policy is arbitrarily determined by University Housing and can be revised at any moment. However, it is far more appalling that restrictions on overnight guests exist at all, especially on the basis of sex. In the South, traditional gender roles maintained much longer than in the North. Many traditional gender roles still exist in the South, and the further South one ventures, the more gender inequality is evidenced.
In the North, most Universities, with the exception of all-female institutions, have twenty-four hour visitation policies for members of either sex. The overnight visitation discrepancy in the South and particularly at N. State is just another reminder that women are not treated equally. It is common knowledge that enforcement of the policy is much stricter in girls' halls or suites, and the rule merely forces women to either enter male rooms for the night or go to potentially more dangerous locations like a house or apartment to stay the night with a male.
The housing rule further inconveniences people in established relationships, both male and female. Those couples on campus are forced to say goodbye at a certain time each night or sneak each other into their dorms. Long-distance couples have it even worse because of a lack of a place to stay during the sparse visits. The housing policy is not only maintaining a tradition of sexism but also discouraging established relationships from advancing.
The biggest issue with the N. State visitation policy is its unequal rules and their enforcement. University Housing should adopt either a twenty-four hour policy for all its dorms, or the restricted policy for each residence hall. If Housing chooses to restrict visitation they should also not allow members of the same sex to stay overnight. The current rule simply favors closet gay and lesbian couples and same-sex friends. Because the restricted policy is outdated, sexist and hypocritical, University Housing has no choice but to adopt the twenty-four hour policy for all its dorms.
Laws exist in the United States to uniformly protect its citizens. Though law enforcement statistics show that our country does a poor job of uniformly and indiscriminately sanctioning its citizens, Universities would do well to provide a better example for the rest of the country. State Housing is just one segment of the University that has the power to provide equal rights to all members of its University. If Housing chooses to maintain its hypocritical policies, it should at least communicate to the student body the rationale behind the rules.
If there is no rationale other than maintaining tradition, it is high time these rules change.