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(please see Siena Life for the complete Visitation/Guest policy)

Introduction

Siena’s policies regarding visitation have been shaped by four values from the College’s Catholic and Franciscan heritage: the virtue of hospitality, concern for the common good, reverence for the individual, and the fundamental goodness and sanctity of human sexuality.

To be hospitable, to welcome the stranger, to allow one’s space and one’s routine to be rearranged temporarily by a guest, to treat each visitor as if he or she were a divine gift from heaven--these are ancient and venerable customs within the human family and the Franciscan tradition. On the other hand, hospitality toward guests must be balanced by concern for the common good of all who call the residence halls their home. The College’s residences are neither hotels nor private apartment buildings. They are spaces in which communities form and function. These communities consist of students, resident directors, resident assistants, campus ministers and friars-in-residence, as well as support staff. The individual student must always exercise his or her right to offer hospitality to guests within the context of the community’s right to protect and promote its way of life by insisting that certain norms and procedures be followed both by residents and visitors alike. A community that does not welcome guests cannot call itself truly human, Christian, or Franciscan. An individual who abuses a community’s hospitality cannot call him or herself a guest.

All behavior in Siena’s residence halls must be governed by the core value of reverence for others: reverence and respect for one’s guests, one’s hosts, one’s roommate(s), one’s wing, floor and hall mates. Franciscan respect goes far deeper than mutual tolerance of one another. It affirms the God-given dignity of each person who has been uniquely created in God’s image, and it steadfastly refuses to treat other human beings as objects that can either be disregarded and ignored, or used, abused, and manipulated for one’s own selfish ends.

Finally, the College’s religious heritage teaches that human sexuality is a gift from God, a gift whose goodness and beauty should never be trivialized or demeaned. In the Christian tradition, sexual behavior, like all other areas of human existence, falls under the commandment of Jesus to “love one another as I have loved you,” a love defined by Jesus as the laying down one’s life for the other. Physical self-giving in sexual relations is the symbolic expression of a willingness to place all that one is and all that one has at the disposal of and in the service of the other. As such, we believe that the proper context for sexual union is an all-encompassing union of life and love within the covenant of marriage.

 

Rationale

At Siena College visitation is a privilege and not a right. In keeping with the Franciscan and Catholic identity of the College and our emphasis on respect of the individual, the following rules and regulations of the College’s visitation policy are meant to promote these values, to protect our residents and their guests, and to safeguard the quality of our life together. The rationale for the policy is as follows:

  • The safety of the Siena Community, including guests, is paramount. Accounting for guests in times of emergency is necessary in order to maintain a safe community for Siena students and staff in addition to aiding emergency personnel in times of crisis.
  • Siena College students’ primary purpose is to achieve academic success. We strive to create living and learning environments within the residence halls/areas that are conducive to study, sleep and healthy living. The right of any resident to sleep, study, or simply enjoy privacy will always take precedence over a roommates’ privilege to host guests/visitors in the room.
  • A roommate should not be compelled to leave the room in order to accommodate a guest or visitor, nor should he or she be placed in situations that might cause embarrassment or inconvenience.
  • Each member of the Siena College community is responsible for actively promoting an educational/living environment that is free from incidents of sexual harassment.