Recently the curfew hours for Southern Village residents changed from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, according to an email sent by Administrative Dean Lisa Patterson to Southern Village residents and their deans.
The email also stated what has not changed, including the time that mixed company needs to be out of the apartments and the times room check occurs. Friday curfew will also remain the same, and residents at Southern Village are still expected to sign in after 11 p.m. if they return to their apartments after room check has commenced.
Another change mentioned in the email is the leave approval process. According to the email sent out by Patterson, all leaves for Southern Village will now automatically be approved, but the guidelines for approved leave locations and age of host stay the same.
“Even though your leave is automatically approved,” stated the email to Southern Village students, “it is your responsibility to make sure it still falls within Southern’s leave policy.”
“Living up at Southern Village is based on trust,” said Dean Donene Braithwaite about the reason for the recent curfew and leave changes. “We [the deans] want to trust you [students] with responsibility as we recognize that students are beginning the transition out of college.”
Two deans are in charge of Southern Village: Braithwaite and John Willis. This is Braithwaite’s first year as an associate dean at Southern and, according to her, the new policies surrounding curfew and the leave process were discussions that began in the fall of last semester.
“Dean Willis and I wanted to see if there were any changes we could make that would positively impact our residents,” said Braithwaite, “and how we compared to other Adventist Universities’ policies. We as deans are regularly looking at our policies and the way we do things, and asking what we could do differently. Our goal is to help students grow, and when they leave here they will likely be living on their own and making their own choices. These decisions emerged out of a desire to help students in that transitional process and strengthen the trust factor of being an upperclassman living at Southern Village or older students living in the dorms.”
Though these changes currently apply to only Southern Village students, these policies will eventually be extended to seniors and students over the age of 22 who are living in the residence halls. According to Braithwaite, the deans are currently addressing technical issues with the abode housing management system that handles leaves and marks room check, but once those are figured out, these changes can also be expected to take place.
According to Braithwaite, the deans will still be checking the approved leave forms, but she hopes that students understand the trust that is being afforded to them and will follow the policies already set.
“There’s now a little box at the bottom that you check acknowledging the approval leave policies and what they entail,” Braithwaite said.
“Overall, we see this as a positive change that will strengthen trust, encourage responsibility among students and assist in their transition from college life to eventual independence,” Braithwaite said.
If students have any questions she encourages them to approach their deans or RAs for more information. She is always happy to meet with students and get to talk with them.