Pace modifies Guest Policy following low COVID-19 positivity rates


Leanne Wisner

Roommates Sara Banasiak (left) and Kylie Karsay.

Brianne Gonzalez

On March 9, Dean for Students Rachel Carpenter and Associate Dean Alerie Tirsch sent out an email to inform Pace residential students about an adjustment to the residential housing guest policy. This update allows students living in the same residence halls to visit one another’s room.   

According to the email, the upgraded Guest Policy will permit one guest per student who lives in the suite. Dean Carpenter and Associate Dean Tirsch clarify by stating, “ If you have five people who live in a suite, you are allowed no more than five guests at any one time.” However, due to New York State restrictions on indoor gatherings, townhouses are limited to have ten people overall. 

The change is expected to be initiated on April 5 if positivity rates remain low and the weekly testing compliance is at least 90%. As of now, the Pleasantville campus has single-digit positive COVID-19 cases

Elm Hall resident, Sara Banasiak, shares that she was one of the many Pace students who participated in providing feedback regarding on-campus life to residential assistants. During the floor meeting, Banasiak states topics of safety and student connection were discussed. The feedback collected from these meetings emphasized the lack of student community which caused the Guest Policy to be adjusted. 

Banasiak responds to the change to the policy by stating, “It’s a safer way for students to see each other compared to having students go off campus to meet, putting themselves at more of a risk while at restaurants.”

She continues by stating how she believes on-campus positivity rates won’t be impacted by the adjusted Guest Policy as long as students continue to get weekly testing.

Martin Hall resident Reginald McKinnely Jr. agrees with Banasiak’s statement but for other reasons. He believes that the change in Guest Policy won’t create new positive cases on-campus since students have already been visiting one another in the residence halls. 

“The change in policy is a step towards what the students want,” McKinnely Jr. admits. “But at the same time, if someone wanted to visit another student, they would’ve sneakily done it already without getting caught.” 

McKinnely Jr. emphasizes that the change in policy allows students to visit one another now without fear of getting reprimanded. He looks forward to spending the rest of his semester visiting his friends and hopes the policy update continues for the fall.

If the overall state rates are low for the fall, Dean Carpenter and Assistant Dean Tirsch mention that they may expand the policy further.