Residents are now allowed to have visitors at Hunter College’s Brookdale dormitory, dean Eija Ayravainen wrote in a message to residents Friday night.
Brookdalers are now allowed to socialize in each other’s rooms, and starting Monday, March 21, non-resident guests will be permitted inside the dorms with proof of vaccination.
“We remain invested in maintaining a safe and healthy community,” Ayravainen said in the email.
“I was so frustrated about not being able to have my friends come into the dorm,” said Brookdale resident Lauren Weisberg, a freshman studying creative writing. “I can’t wait to be able to host movie nights again.”
The change in policy comes after resident Nick Lamphier filed a petition last month. The campaign addressed growing concerns that COVID restrictions in the dorms were impacting residents’ mental health. In just over a week, it had 367 signatures.
“While undoubtedly a privilege, living in the residence hall during COVID has been an extremely isolating, lonely experience” the petition stated. “For the sake of our mental and social wellness, we now ask for something, too.”
The petition cited the new weekly COVID testing program, instated for Hunter dorm residents on February 9, as proof that it was time for a change.
“We believe such frequent testing of our 100% vaccinated population permits easing the residence hall back into the social community it once was,” the petition concluded. Students were required to be fully vaccinated in order to live at Brookdale this year.
“President Raab heard your concerns and we have received CUNY’s approval,” Ayravainen’s email said.
Hunter President Jennifer Raab responded to the petition on March 7, according to Lamphier. “Please know that we are very much aware of your concerns and are working to address them,” Raab said at that time.
This latest decision follows the recent lifting of the mask mandate for the CUNY community, which took effect on March 7.