Visitation, library, events restrictions loosened for UK students


Two UK students sign up for graduation, which UK announced on March 12 would take place in person at Rupp Arena May 14-16, while enjoying the early spring weather on the University of Kentucky’s campus on Wednesday, March 11, 2021. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Natalie Parks

Many of the university’s existing policies on COVID-19 will now be relaxed, according to an email from UK’s vice president for student success Kirsten Turner.

In an email to students on Thursday, March 11, Turner shared a series of changes including increased library hours and allowing visitors in dorms for the first time all year.

Students in dorms may now have one guest at a time in their residence halls beginning March 15.

“Non-UK students and minors — anyone under the age of 18 — are not allowed to visit or stay overnight in the residence halls,” Turner said. Valid UK IDs are required for entry.

William T. Young Library’s hours are expanding to the following schedule:

Monday – Thursday: 8 a.m. – midnight

Friday: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Saturday – Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Greek life organizations may have guests in their houses, pending approval from the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. 

FSL facilities can have a total of 10 guests at a time but will only be allowed in common areas of the house.

“Guests will be limited to active and new chapter members, house corporation officers and chapter advisors,” Turner said. 

University spokesperson Jay Blanton said Greek organizations would be subject to a six step approval process before they can have visitors.

“Chapters will also be reminded throughout the process that failure to follow the policies will result in a referral to the Office of Student Conduct,” Blanton said.

Chapters will be required to keep visitor logs and turn them in to FSL leadership weekly.

Co-habitation in Greek houses was responsible for a large number of cases during UK’s initial round of testing in the fall, prompting follow-up testing for 5,000 FSL students. Officials said this was due in part to an inability to distance students the same way the university can in dorms.

“We have opened up visitation in the residence halls, and the students who live in our Greek facilities should not be denied the ability to have a guest and to engage in social interactions simply because of where they live,” Blanton said.

Five Greek life organizations are currently on probation or suspension for failure to follow COVID-19 health and safety protocols, according to UK’s conduct status page.

The Office of University Events will begin offering support for off-campus events as opposed to only on campus events.

“This change will allow students to request production services for off-campus events with a discount for student organizations,” Turner said. Organizations can now request a COVID-19 safety monitor, paid for by UK, to attend events and “ensure all guests are compliant.”

Blanton said UK has a three-pronged approach to maintaining COVID-19 protocols in warm weather, which has enticed students into more gatherings.

UK will continue joint patrols with the city and continue applying the Code of Student Conduct to off campus violations.