As we welcome in the new school year, it’s also important to welcome the new changes that await us. Among the many updates implemented this school year, one standout change is the restriction to hall access. As stated in a recent Student Affairs Newsletter:
Students can access the residence halls from 7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m., during midday, and again starting at 3:00 p.m. on A, B, C, and D days.
On “I days,” students can access the halls from 6:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. (IMSA, 23)
This change is in stark contrast to last year – hall access was permitted all throughout the school day. Ms. Katie Berger, the Chief Student Affairs Officer at IMSA, explained that “the changes to residence hall access during the academic day are a result of changes to the Residence Life staff team. Since we won’t have a day hall monitor assigned to each residence hall, we need to limit access to the residence halls during the day like we did prior to the COVID pandemic.”
Especially for returning students, the new hall access poses a significant restriction on your daily life. For example, unless you want to carry notebooks for all of your classes at all times, returning to your room during midday will be effectively mandatory. The new shortened midday period (from 11:40 – 12:40 to 11:35 – 12:10) will make grabbing your next classes’ materials even harder. Furthermore, returning to your room during off-mods, with the exception of 8th mod, will be prohibited as well. This will significantly limit student mobility throughout the school day and will lead to a higher density of students remaining in the main building.
However, it may not be all doom and gloom. In an effort to address some of these concerns, it was announced that while “students will have reduced access to their residence halls during the academic day next year, Student Affairs and the Facilities Team are working together to develop new student spaces that can be used for club meetings, socializing, relaxing, and collaboration.”
In a follow-up interview with Katie Berger, she elaborated on what kinds of spaces students can expect, saying “Room A108 (formerly the Attendance Office) is being transitioned into a student lounge space. Additionally, we are working with a group of students to introduce a safe space for LGBTQIA+ students called Pride Rock, which will open this fall. We are also creating a club room that will have meeting space and supplies for student use, and this space will also open during the fall semester.”
As a part of our deep dive into this change, the Acronym also interviewed students to find out what they think of the hall access restrictions.
As expected, many students had concerns regarding the changes saying:
“Even though I probably won’t have too many off-mods, it’s frustrating that I won’t even have the option of going back to the dorm.” — Zhuoer Cai (’25)
“The only real issue I see is if you need something from your room you won’t be able to get it during off mods. Having your freedom taken away is also kind of annoying because now you have to carry more stuff with you (if you originally used off mods to switch items for classes).” — Ian Chung (’25)
“The times are really inconvenient because I used to go back to my room often during my off-mods to do homework or nap since it’s more relaxing than the main building.” — Will Yuu (’25)
Though some students also voiced sympathy for the change saying:
“If there’s a staff shortage then I guess it’s understandable that they would have to make this change.” — Prabhav Veeramachaneni (’25)
Even though these quotes showcase only a sliver of IMSA’s population, it is evident that this decision has become a divisive issue among students. But whether you love it or hate it, it’s important to learn to adapt. So if you’re someone who likes to go back to their room during off-mods to do homework or nap, remember that that won’t be possible this year. Consider swinging by IN2 or the new student lounge instead – maybe a new study partner or lunch buddy is right there waiting for you.