Open Hall Hours

photo by Anna Beth Corson

photo by Anna Beth Corson

On October 1, Dr. Brad Voyles, the Vice President of Student Development and Dean of Students, announced to the student body at the beginning of his chapel talk that the month of October would be a trial run for a new set of open hall hours. These new hours run from 4-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 4-8 p.m. on Sunday.

During the 2018 spring semester, Student Senate formed an ad hoc committee for the purpose of looking into changing open hall hours. Members of Student Senate found the hours to be inconsistent since they started at different times each day.

They also realized that other Christian colleges often had more hours. Berry College, a Christian liberal arts college in Rome, Georgia, has open hall hours that last from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Sunday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

After reviewing such statistics, Student Senate sent out a survey to the student body in the spring of 2018 asking for opinions on the current open hall hours and whether they should be increased, decreased, or stay as they were.

After receiving the feedback of the surveys, Tindol Pate (‘19), Student Body President, said, “We realized basically there is going to be people who like it and people that hate it regardless of what we do.”

Once the decision was made, the ad hoc committee created a proposal and sent it off to the Student Development office.

The proposal originally suggested to have the hours be from 4-11 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This was received by Dr. Brad Voyles and Jonathan Wylie, the Associate Dean of Students, in the spring. They discussed the matter with the Residence Life staff, who were on board with the change to make the hours consistently 4-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. There was push back with having the 4-11 p.m. hours on Sunday.

There were many factors that weighed in for the decision of changing the hours to 4-8 p.m. on Sunday. Many Covenant students often leave campus to attend church on Sunday mornings and go to lunch afterwards, and thus do not make it back to campus in time to truly utilize the previous 1-5 p.m. open hall hours. The decision to move the starting time up to 4 p.m. came from the idea that more students would be able to utilize this time period.

However, resident halls’ Sunday night meeting, Prayer and Praise, contributed to the decision of Sunday’s hours. Student development chose to shorten the 4-11 p.m. and change it to end at 8 p.m. in hopes that students would feel encouraged to spend time afterwards with their halls. The RDs, however, are willing to discuss opportunities with brother/sister halls who want to do Prayer and Praise together after the open hall hours.

Since this was a trial run for the month of October, the question remains: how did Student Development decide to keep the hours?

Jonathan Wylie met with the RDs over Fall Break to discuss how the new open hall hours policy was going. They reported that students did not blatantly ignore the new rules or stay later than they were supposed to stay.

There was also not an overwhelming number of students who voiced that they were not getting enough time with their hall. On November 2, it was announced by Student Development that the new open hall hours will remain.

Reflecting on the whole process, Wylie said, “Hopefully the students see that we are willing to listen and to work with them and to help keep them satisfied and to have a good time.”