Corpus Christi has attracted criticism over its “archaic” guest policySimon Lock

The Corpus Christi JCR is to meet with College to discuss the current policy on guests visiting student rooms, after rising complaints amongst individuals that the policy is too severe, with allegations of bedders informing on students and relationships having to be publicly declared.

The current Corpus Christi policy states that a student cannot have a guest stay overnight for more than seven nights a term. If guests want to stay for more than three consecutive nights special permission must be obtained from the Dean. The guests should vacate their host’s room by 9am.

Such policies differ from college to college. For instance, Newnham college’s rules state that, “A guest may stay overnight in a student’s room for a maximum number of three nights in a week running from Monday to Monday.”'

The College Rules detail the punishment for non-compliance: “failure to enter a guest in the book will incur an automatic fine of £10 in the first instance.”

The enforcement of the policy in Corpus Christi has caused controversy within the college recently. One Corpus student, who also asked to remain anonymous, was punished this term for having a guest stay over regularly without signing in, and felt that the punishment they received was too severe.

The student pointed out that they had not been signing their partner in because, firstly, they and their partner often would only decide to stay the night together after designated time of 10.30pm and, secondly, because signing in would mean limiting their number of overnight stays to 7 nights a term, which seemed unreasonable to them.

After initially receiving a warning for having their partner stay overnight without signing them in, the student was then fined £10 the second time, and put on cleaning duty for five days the third time.

“I was told that if I was caught having a guest in my room without reporting it to the porters again, then I would have to clean college at 7am every day until my exams in June,” the student told Varsity. The student claims that when they tried to question the nature of the punishment, the College did respond to their request, but ultimately the punishment was upheld. There appeared, the student felt, to be some confusion over whether their issue was to dealt with by those in a punitive or pastoral role.

Varsity spoke to another couple who have been negatively affected by the rule. They argue that this policy is “archaic” and puts significant strain on student relationships.

The couple, who both asked to remain anonymous, had been fined previously for having stayed overnight regularly in one another’s rooms, but also said that they had experienced an uncomfortable level of scrutiny as a result of the rule.

“One of the bedders told us that they’d been asked to look out for signs of students having people over, and to report it to college,” one of the students told Varsity. “The bedders will come around early to check that we aren’t together. It’s completely ridiculous.”

The couple also said that they felt fining a student for having a guest overnight was, to them, both “extortionate” and “inappropriate”.

They highlighted problems with the book used to sign guests in and out. According to the College rules: “The names of all guests of Undergraduates must be entered in the Dean's Guest Book kept in the Porters' Lodge by 10.30 p.m. on the night in question.”

The rules stress that, “It is essential for safety and security purposes that the College has this record.”

However the couple complained that the book is available for all to look at and requires students to fill in their own name as well as the name of their guest. The couple pointed out that this puts individuals in the position of publicising their private relationships, otherwise they will be breaking college rules.

The couple highlighted how much of a strain the current policy can be on a relationship: “My relationship is important to me,” one of them said, “and time together at night is a big part of that. I think it’s shocking that college feel they have the right to police this. We’re adults.”

The policy, they argued, neglects the importance of time alone for those in long-term relationships and also puts too much emphasis on students’ private sex lives. They referred to an incident when a student had put an empty condom box in their bin, and later received a note from their bedder stating how uncomfortable this made them feel.

Corpus Christi College did not respond to a request for comment