What’s the deal with… University access to dorm rooms?

GW Housing Programs staff, GW housekeepers, facilities and property management staff and contractors, University Police officers and Office of Environmental Health and Safety Inspectors.

These are all the people who have access to your room.

University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard said GW has guidelines that everyone must follow before entering a room.

Before entering any on-campus room, staff members are instructed to follow the “three-knock” policy.

Sherrard said staff members must knock loudly once and announce presence outside the room. If there is no response, they must knock again and restate their presence. If there is still no response, they knock again and announce their entry to the room.

Sherrard said that in the event that a resident of the room announces presence from the bathroom, or running water can be heard coming from the bathroom, the staff member is instructed to announce that he or she will return later.

Residents may also ask staff to come back later for other reasons, which will be accommodated unless there is an emergency.

But the number of officials who can enter student rooms surprised some.

“That’s a pretty long list,” said freshman Hillary Farrow.

Shahar Abrams, a freshman living in Thurston, said a UPD officer came into a friend’s room he was in while the officer was conducting his hourly rounds on the floor.

“It was an officer we’ve seen before. He was really nice and pretty funny,” said Abrams. “He was just doing rounds and making sure we were all right.”

Abrams added that students living on campus should be prepared to live by the rules of the University residence halls.

“I don’t think you should have anything to hide in your room,” he said.

Abrams said, however, that he thinks there should always be “some kind of courtesy call” such as a reminder e-mail or phone call so residents can expect when an official may be entering the room.

Michael Etka, a senior who now lives off campus, said that only a limited number of officials should be able to enter rooms when a resident is not there.

“Others will need to have a just cause,” Etka said.

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