standards for non-university affiliated patrons

3 Replies

standards for non-university affiliated patrons

Posted by Michael Schmit on Sep 7, 2017 3:45 pm

Greetings all, and I hope everyone is off to a successful school year!

As an urban union, my institution often works through challenges related to non-university affiliated patrons, many of whom may be homeless. Recently I learned that our campus library will deny access to their facility due to violations of hygiene standards. I have searched the web, and I cannot find a defined set of hygiene standards that could apply to our industry. I am wondering if any Urban Union COP members address these challenging patrons based on standards of hygiene, and if so do you have a set of standards to present the patron with.
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Re: standards for non-university affiliated patrons

Posted by Ben Williams on Sep 8, 2017 7:43 am

I have never heard of a Union with a policy around that. However, I'd like to add a perspective from a Diversity & Inclusion viewpoint. Are these hygiene standards based on a U.S. perspective on hygiene? International students and different cultures have various "hygiene standards," which could result in a policy being implemented that would inadvertently make segments of student populations feel uncomfortable. 

Re: standards for non-university affiliated patrons

Posted by Joseph Hayes on Sep 8, 2017 9:28 am

Yes, I feel like that kind of policy could be a slippery slope. Our policy focuses on "no sleeping" and we enforce it regardless of who you are. (It is in the resources section of the Urban Unions COP). We've also changed our furniture in our problem areas, essentially making it less comfortable. We've also removed the majority of our televisions, students don't seem to miss them.

Joe H. 

Re: standards for non-university affiliated patrons

Posted by Michael Schmit on Sep 8, 2017 10:59 am

Ben - I completely agree, which is one of the reasons that I was struggling with this as an enforceable concept. Since we are student fee funded, any action to limit student access would be processed through our Dean of Students office as a non-academic misconduct case. I do not see this issue going in that direction. I also do not want to see standards that do not treat all equally, traditional student, non-traditional student, international student, and non-students should be able to operate under a community standard. I could run through various hypotheticals related to students, but when we have a student that is in need, institutionally we have a responsibility to assist those students.

When we have non-students that are in need or who are causing interferance with the use of the facility, then community resources need to be reviewed and I am not sure if the college union is such a community resources. We want to be a wholistic community that embraces the challenges of an urban environment, while drawing lines for what is acceptable related to those that are not enorlled.